• Mind Sponge

What football has Dunn for me

My time at UWaterloo was a fun but very busy one. I was planning on attending a different school for business but once UWaterloo offered me to play football for the next 5 years, I couldn’t say no to that. It was like a match made in heaven when I found out about the Recreation and Sports Business program as well. What more could a student-athlete want from his school degree and his athletic life. I thought go to school and play football, there is nothing better than that. What I did not know is how much balancing sports and school, being a student-athlete was and how many lessons the next 5 years would teach me and ultimately translate into my career.

On the outside looking in, being a student-athlete seems rather glamorous. You get to play a sport you love, representing your school on a large stage, travel most weekends and everything that comes with being an athlete at the University level. But what you don’t see and what I struggled with is battle with time management. Coming into first year I had no clue how to time manage properly. On top of the countless hours on the practice field, weight room and the film study room I had the demand of being a student at one of the top Universities in Canada.

It’s no secret that during my 5 year with the team (2012-2017), we didn’t see that much success on the field. But the success I found off of the field with the countless lessons, the experience is priceless. Many skills such as time management and wellness balance have really helped me in the beginning stages of my career. Being a student-athlete at one of the top schools in the country provided me with an opportunity to learn from my mistakes and build on my skills.

Time management was a crucial skill I had to perfect right away. It was evident after my first semester where my average was 62 that I had to really understand how to time manage everything that was being thrown at me. For the next 4 years, I managed almost every aspect of my life in and out of school. I made sure I was scheduling every assignment, reading, workout, meal, practice, friends time etc. Sure I would break away sometimes but the important part is that once I wrote them down, I understood where I needed to allocate more of my time and prioritize accordingly. I found I actually was able to have more free time because I was so efficient in getting things done ahead of time and not panicking.

Speaking of free time, being an athlete and a Recreation student, wellness was a huge part of my education. Yet another lesson I have carried forward into my career after UWaterloo. Yes, it is very important to work hard and further your career but I learned that nothing is more important that your own wellness. Having a work-life balance should be one of the most important aspects of your life. Sometimes, football was that balance that was needed. I needed those times where I took time for myself and enjoyed something else I loved.

Those 2 lessons, and countless more helped me achieve Academic All-Canadian status in my last 2 semesters of school (status given to athletes who achieve an 80% or higher average). This was one of my many goals during University and I am proud to say that I achieved this at one of the top Universities in Canada.

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