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Neuroscience major and D1 Track and Field Athlete

GiUziMGiUziM Registered User Posts: 12 New Member
edited June 2018 in Athletic Recruits
Looking for advice!
I'm a rising senior and I am in track and field. I'm hoping to enroll to UAB as a neuroscience major and a D1 track athlete (possibly on a full ride). However, many elite athletes don't have such rigorous majors as neuroscience. I'm in need of advice on how to manage both things in college. Is anyone here an athlete with a demanding major? Any tips? Is it POSSIBLE?

Background: I am a student-athlete with a 4.3 GPA and one of the top sprinters in the state. I have taken AP classes and gotten A's in them without having a lot of conflicting issues with my sport. I'm an all-A student ranked top 5% in class. Although I've had to miss several days of school throughout the year due to meets, I've been able to make work up quickly or do it in advance. I'm great on time management. Usually, I'd go straight to practice after school, take 1-2 hours to eat, shower, soak, and/or ice, and then get started on my homework and studying..usually not going past 11:30.

So tell me, do you think it's possible to have such a demanding major with labs and research while still being able to perform at my best as a D1 athlete? Please provide any personal experiences.

Thanks.
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Replies to: Neuroscience major and D1 Track and Field Athlete

  • stencilsstencils Registered User Posts: 359 Member
    @GiUziM My daughter just finished freshman year as a D1 athlete in fencing as an engineering major. Her stats going in were nearly identical to yours and she did just fine. The hardest part were competition weekends as that seriously reduced her homework / lab completion time.

    The one thing I'd say might be different is that track is often a 3-season sport so if you're doing indoor/outdoor/CC, you'll be "on" all year. My DD really enjoyed the last 6 weeks of spring semester once her season was over, as it was nice to have some down time and time to get ready for finals.
  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone Registered User Posts: 20,248 Senior Member
    My daughter didn't have the academic stats you have but did her sport and engineering. She was very organized and very hard working. There were a few other STEM majors on her team, and they were the ones studying on the bus, studying while away at games, studying on Sunday mornings and Saturday nights. Because of her scholarship she didn't have to work during the school year, but she did work for a professor her final semester and regretted not doing that in other academic years; she liked the work and liked the money.

    Many athletes also go to summer school so they can take a lighter load during their season.
  • jumpermomjumpermom Registered User Posts: 94 Junior Member
    It's definitely possible and it sounds like you have the academic background to do it. My daughter just finished her freshman year as a D1 track athlete. It is definitely a year round commitment, but the coaching staff is dedicated to your success because they have money on the line (and they care). You will have mandatory study table hours your freshman year, also, which need to be looked on as a benefit, not a curse. Good luck...sounds like you'll do very well!
  • Ohiodad51Ohiodad51 Forum Champion Athletic Recruits Posts: 2,442 Forum Champion
    People do it all the time. But something will have to give. Sometimes that means taking classes in the summer, lots of times it means taking the fifth year as a red shirt. My son is in a different sport and while he isn't a neuro major he is a STEM guy. It seems from talking with him that the guys who have the hardest time getting everything in are the engineers.

    As you go through recruiting, you will likely hear that your college experience breaks down into three tracks - academic, athletic and social life. You can pick two, but it is hard to have all three. I think there is some truth to that, and if you want to be serious about your academics and your sport then you should expect to miss some Saturday night parties because you will need to be studying. It is just how it is.
  • Happytimes2001Happytimes2001 Registered User Posts: 1,074 Senior Member
    You can do it! Will require great planning, commitment and hard work. And yes, your social life will be less active than others but it is worth it, esp if you get a free ride.
  • PublisherPublisher Registered User Posts: 5,954 Senior Member
    edited June 2018
    No problem whatsoever ! In fact, running track may make you a better student. While in law school, I ran 10 miles almost everyday & lifted weights for 90 minutes everyday. Increased my ability to concentrate. Always felt great & slept well.

    I cannot think of an easier athletic commitment than as a sprinter. Overwhelmingly based on natural ability. No need for long runs to increase endurance.

    Much more difficult for athletes participating in the three main revenue sports--football, baseball & basketball. Had a nephew play baseball at Duke. Over 60 games a season, constant travel in addition to mandatory meetings, weightlifting & practice. No time to interview. Jobless Duke grad. Football is incredibly demanding.

    At many D-1 schools, athletes take courses with teachers who understand the time demands placed upon revenue sport athletes.

    P.S. Just think of it as exercise on a regimented schedule that you should do whether or not on a college sports team.
  • GiUziMGiUziM Registered User Posts: 12 New Member
    edited June 2018
    "I cannot think of an easier athletic commitment than as a sprinter. Overwhelmingly based on natural ability. No need for long runs to increase endurance."

    I'm a sprinter , as well as mid-distance haha, so I must do quite a few long runs to help build endurance lol. Speed endurance workouts are evil. But I understand. Thanks for the reply and advice. I definitely think it will help me concentrate.
  • GiUziMGiUziM Registered User Posts: 12 New Member
    @Ohiodad51

    "As you go through recruiting, you will likely hear that your college experience breaks down into three tracks - academic, athletic and social life. You can pick two, but it is hard to have all three."

    Yes, I've heard that from many recruiters, actually. I definitely think I'll just have to do academic and athletic and take those breaks given every once in a while to fit social time in. Thank you for the reply!
  • GiUziMGiUziM Registered User Posts: 12 New Member
    @jumpermom

    Thanks for the advice!

    "You will have mandatory study table hours your freshman year, also, which need to be looked on as a benefit, not a curse. Good luck...sounds like you'll do very well!" --I'll be sure to look at it as a benefit.

    I wish your daughter good luck in her next coming years in her events and academics!

  • GiUziMGiUziM Registered User Posts: 12 New Member
    @twoinanddone

    "Many athletes also go to summer school so they can take a lighter load during their season."
    Sounds like something I'll look into. I know I'll have to take a couple lab courses during the summer between Freshman and Sophomore year or else I'd be drowning. Thanks for the reply!
  • GiUziMGiUziM Registered User Posts: 12 New Member
    Thanks everyone for the replies! It's definitely going to be hard work, but I'll just take it a year at a time. I'll just have to get the handle on things. Also, I wish the best luck to all those student-athletes who are in the same situation as I am, or similar, who may be reading this.
  • PublisherPublisher Registered User Posts: 5,954 Senior Member
    edited June 2018
    With respect to the comments regarding social life posted above: You can excel in all three areas = academics, athletics & social life. Live on a schedule for the first two, and be selective about the third.

    Also, you should socialize & relax on Saturday nights--unless you prefer to study in a sparsely populated library--just don't waste time standing around & getting wasted. Make your social time count as much as your athletic & academic time.

    P.S. Your initial post misled me when you wrote that you are "...one of the top sprinters in the state". Clearly, 800 meter run is not a sprint.
  • AlwaysMovingAlwaysMoving Registered User Posts: 30 Junior Member
    OP- Have you thought about GT? They have excellent athletic support and the degree would open a few more doors after you graduate. I know UAB is a solid school, but it doesn't carry the same weight outside the South East that GT does. UAB might be better if Med School is in your plans though.

    Just a thought.
  • PublisherPublisher Registered User Posts: 5,954 Senior Member
    UAB is better for neuroscience, plus OP has an athletic scholarship.
  • AlwaysMovingAlwaysMoving Registered User Posts: 30 Junior Member
    UAB has a solid program but depending on what the OP wants to do GT might be a better option. Also, GT has excellent academic support for athletes that is probably better than at UAB. Basically, the OP wouldn't be the only high academic achieving athlete at the school.
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