A Day in the Life of a (Former) Yale Student-Athlete

5:15am alarm goes off.  I can’t snooze….it’s too dangerous.

5:20am contemplate life. It’s dark and cold and I’m exhausted.

5:21am Tik Tok check-in. I simply must catch up on everything I missed in the last 6 hours.

5:25am get out of bed.

5:30am brush teeth, wash face, use the bathroom, etc etc.

5:39am somehow it’s 5:39 and – am I going to be late?

5:40am power-walk to Payne Whitney Gymnasium. To the basement we go. Specifically the locker room next to the Kiphuth Exhibition pool, pictured above.

5:52am change into my swimsuit. Greet my half-asleep friends. By now, I’m fully awake and they probably think I’m very annoying.

6:00am plunge into the freezing cold abyss.

6:55am dry off and change in record time. head up to the Weight Room for Lift. 

8:15am head back to the locker room. shower/change/dance party.

8:35am breakfast in a dining hall – most always Morse / Stiles – with the team. The post-practice breakfast is one of my favorite parts of being on a sports team. We chat about school, practice, our social lives…the works. 

8:45am go back for seconds. Maybe it’s more oatmeal. Maybe it’s pancakes. Maybe it’s Special K.

9:00am scribble down last night’s French homework.

9:17am rush off to French. C’est la vie.

10:30am head to my next class - some favorites include “International Challenges of the 21st Century”, “Classical Hollywood Narratives”,  and “Sex, Markets, and Power”.

11:30am What’s next - Lunch in a dining hall? (with 14 dining halls, the possibilities are endless) Library? Maybe a nap? The world is my oyster.

1:30pm head to afternoon class - “Political Philosophy” or “Intro to Media” or “Global Governance” or maybe it’s “Bioethics and Law”.

2:22pm- 3:30pm Work in the library, read in a coffee shop, sit with friends on Cross Campus, go to Office Hours if I’m feeling extra on top of things…(rare).

3:31pm - 3:58pm Head back to the gym, eat a snack, visit the training room if my shoulders or neck are tight, dilly-dally before practice #2. 

3:59pm put goggles on for second practice. Jump in. Somehow it’s just as freezing as in the morning. 

6:10pm shower/change/dance party in the locker room. Notice a trend?

6:22pm Dinner with a friend. I like to (perhaps obsessively) schedule out my meals with people I don’t always normally run into or see during the day. Tonight it’s my “big sister” from my sorority. 

6:57pm Grab a to-go cup of ice cream from the Dining Hall and sprint to a Film Screening for one of my classes, or maybe I’m attending a meeting for the Yale Film Alliance.  Or I’m likely taking my sweet time getting to the library, delaying the upcoming hours of studying for just a few more minutes. Ideally, though, I’m heading back to my dorm to hang out with my suite-mates / best friends.

7pm - 11:30pm/midnight homework, Tik Tok (this wouldn’t be authentic if I didn’t include it at least twice in my schedule), call my mom, hang with suitemates, etc etc. All in a day’s work!

The takeaway - At Yale, even though being a Student-Athlete is a huge commitment, it doesn’t completely define you, or even confine you. The beautiful thing about playing sports here is that there is time – and space – to immerse yourself in things outside of Athletics. Yale (my peers, my Dean, my Head of College, my Coaches) encourages being well-rounded, and I’m super thankful that I have been able to define myself as not just a Student-Athlete, but more simply as a Student, as an Artist, as a Good Friend, and just as a Twenty-Something who likes to have fun.

This fall, my days look a little different. Farewell to the early morning wake-ups; I have curated my course schedule to only exist in the afternoons (excluding my four-hour Senior Thesis workshop, which meets Tuesdays at a less-than-ideal 8:25 am). I am blessed to have more free time - which I have been filling with long walks around Yale and New Haven (and now instead of hurrying off to practice, I’ve been stopping to actually say hi to practically anyone I’ve seen before), coffee dates with friends (not the “oh we should totally catch up over coffee sometime. text me” coffee dates that both parties know will never happen), and just soaking it all in.