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Prioritizing You

Updated: Apr 4, 2023

College success requires time management and communication, but at the top of the list is to prioritize yourself.

With about 500,000 NCAA student athletes, each must find their own balance between academics and athletics. These student athletes would not be where they are today if they did not put themselves first.

John Macko, former athletic counselor for the Ohio State University, believes college is all about opportunity.

“It’s an opportunity, that’s why you’re also here. College is an opportunity. Take advantage,” stated Macko.

Colleges offer many resources. Macko thinks it is important to utilize them as much as possible.

Colleges provide academic resources such as tutors and internship opportunities, but in recent years, colleges have begun to offer mental health counselors for students and faculty.

Student athletes at the collegiate level tend to face challenges when balancing all their tasks. Macko believes it is important for them to complete the tasks or homework assignments they dislike the most first.

“Whatever your worst thing you got to do…if you gotta do homework…something you really don’t want to, do that first,” said Macko.

Students often want to push off the work they dislike, but students have to learn to prioritize success over enjoyment. Procrastination is one of the biggest factors which can set back a student in the classroom. For many student athletes, when set back in the classroom, this could lead to ineligibility for games and matches.

Macko highlighted how students have to earn everything they get.

“There is a difference between a hook…hook ‘em up…and help…You’ve got to earn everything you get. You’ve got to earn your grades in class,” discussed Macko.

Many students want a hook to get to success, but this is not what helps a student grow. Others can guide and help the student to their goals, but the student has to work their way there.

Students must put their own growth as their priority over just an achievement. Macko discussed his interaction with Gene Smith, athletic director at Ohio State University, on how a running back for the Ohio State Buckeyes came to him for a hook rather than help.

“So within five minutes I get a call from Gene Smith. ‘Hey, I thought he was supposed to have his resume.’ I said, ‘Gene I told him.’ What do you think? He sent him back to me. He wouldn’t even talk to the guy,” said Macko.

This football player wanted to get a hook from Smith rather than assistance. He thought he would get a hook from Smith without bringing his resume, even after being told by Macko to bring it.

Success in college can be a challenge for students, but with the right steps, this success can be reached. It is easy for students to lose track of their intended goal, but by setting themselves as the priority, they will be able to thrive well after colle

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