Balancing Life’s Commitments
Staying on top of University, two jobs, and cycling can make balancing life’s commitments a tall task. Last semester I was only working one job and was able to manage it all quite well. Finding the best ways to keep yourself organised is vital in preventing falling behind in any aspects of life. To help with both my cycling and university commitments, The University of Adelaide have been very cooperative, as I have been able to join the Elite Athlete program, allowing me to receive extensions on assessment pieces and provides more flexibility to balance my cycling and university commitments simultaneously. University is currently my number one priority, followed by cycling, then my two jobs. Although I am able to make exceptions, for example, one of my university exams clashed with U19 Road Nationals in July, though the Elite Athlete program allowed me to sit the exam early. This is why I would suggest any athletes considering The University of Adelaide to apply for the Elite Athlete program. My courses at University have also been quite flexible, so for semester two I have been able to build my timetable around work commitments, and will also fit in a full cycling program.
Giving plenty of time helps in every aspect of life, letting university lecturers and tutors know that you will be away for competitions well in advance is helpful both for them and you, as they will more readily provide extensions. Checking major assignments and exam times and comparing these to cycling competitions before each university semester commences is another way to prevent setbacks and stress. This is the same for work, I am currently employed at the Crafers Pizza Bar and Charlesworth Nuts, notifying them well in advance about future absences keeps the relationship with bosses better, and they can then give me extra or different shifts to make up for when I’m away. Finally, with cycling, both university and work commitments must be communicated with coaches. In my case, providing Tim (my coach) with my university timetable and work shifts allows him to build my cycling program around other commitments. That way we very rarely need to compromise.
Notably, the social aspects of life are missing from this blog. It’s quite easy to catch up with other cyclists, at racing and for training rides, but other mates are more difficult to see. Fortunately most of my friends attend the same university as me it’s not too hard to see them regularly, but not every cyclist has this possibility. As for going on non-cycling related holidays, this is much more difficult. It is not often that university holidays, cycling breaks and being able to skip work shifts all come together. After U19 Cycling Nationals I was able to do this though, I had a week off the bike, which coincided with uni holidays and I was able to take a few days off work.
Of course the other big factor which can’t be underestimated is the role of the team in enabling me to race at such a high level. And in turn this would not be possible without the help and support of our sponsors. For this I (and the rest of the team) are incredibly grateful.
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