Homework on the road: The eternal struggle

The X's and O's of the Student Athlete - Kathleen McCann (Cara Smith/AQ)

Road trips are seen as one of the best parts of being a varsity athlete. It’s where teammates become better acquainted, memories are shared, and lasting friendships are formed. Some of the most memorable moments from my last three years as a Tommie come from road trips.

As peachy as it all sounds, road trips make getting work done impossible.

This past weekend we piled into three mini vans and headed to Montreal for a preseason basketball tournament. It was roughly a nine hour drive, so you’re probably thinking that’s tons of time to get work done!

You’re wrong.

Reading or writing an essay while driving is a delicate art, one which is extremely difficult to master without getting nauseous. Even if you have the ability to read without motion sickness it’s still hard to get work done while the radio is playing, your teammate is snoring in the seat next to you, and people are talking. No problem though because you’re going to have lots of down time at the hotel, right?

Wrong again.

After you’ve competed for almost two hours you’ll be exhausted. It’s probably early evening at this point and you have a game tomorrow morning, so your night consists of food, shower, and sleep. No time for homework because you want to give yourself the best chance of performing well tomorrow.

To put it bluntly your priority on a road trip isn’t homework, it’s winning the game.

Unfortunately, when you do get that hour or two of free time on a road trip you’re so tired you don’t get nearly as much accomplished as you would like. To put it in perspective: I had a to-do list with six things on it this weekend, while in Montreal I finished three.

That’s only half of what I needed to get done.

Sadly, as great as road trips are in terms of team chemistry, they really make it difficult for the student in you to get things done.

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