Finding a routine as an athlete and engineering student

How I learned to manage my time and balance priorities as a busy student athlete

Headshot of Maggie Breitenstein

Maggie Breitenstein

Mechanical Engineering Technology '23

Co-op: Plumbing design engineer at Motz Engineering

Like many students, the University of Cincinnati’s co-op program was the largest influence on my decision to pursue an engineering degree from UC. Another influence, a little less common, was that I wanted to continue running cross country and track at a collegiate level. As daunting as it seemed, I decided to do both engineering and join the team.

I quickly found out my freshman year that it was going to be a challenge, but that following the right steps and knowing my priorities will help me get that degree while still being able to have other commitments, big and small! Whether you are a student-athlete, involved in sorority/fraternity life, part of clubs, or working a job, you will find success in scheduling, planning, and sorting out priorities.

Schedule your time

If you are anything like me, being busy will keep you motivated and on task and reduce procrastination. I found it easiest to make categories in Google Calendar labeled for School, Practice, and Misc. events. Once I added my weekly class schedule, practice times, meetings, and anything else I had planned, it was easy for me to map out my week. Being able to see my commitments for the day made it easy for me to know when I could study, do homework, make food, or have down time (also very important). 

I quickly found out my freshman year that it was going to be a challenge, but that following the right steps and knowing my priorities will help.

Maggie Breitenstein Mechanical Engineering Technology '23

Understand your limits

Something that I have learned in three years of being a student-athlete and a member of CEAS ambassadors is that If I find myself so busy I can’t complete schoolwork, I know it’s time to skip a day of practice, write the email that I can’t make a club meeting, or miss out on a hangout with friends to catch up on school. Being overwhelmed and having too much going on makes me less efficient, so finding a good balance between extracurriculars and schools is key to being successful too!

Form a routine

After a few weeks of starting each semester, I establish a solid routine of knowing when I can get things done. With that routine, I also establish my priorities—student first (ALWAYS), athlete second, and all other things after that. No matter how much you are involved in, you can always make it work. Staying on top of your schedule, forming a routine, and establishing priorities is key to your success!

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