Seven semesters down, one more to go. The finish line, graduation, is in sight. A degree is right around the corner but as you continue down the last semester before graduation, senioritis begins to take over your motivation. Adding to the struggle is a full course load and extracurricular activities, such as sports. The load becomes too much and the senioritis is closing the gap. But wait, there is a different path with a lighter course load worth checking out. In fact, some student-athletes are on this path.
While being a student-athlete has its stresses through the four years of college, some student-athletes have worked their schedules over the years to give themselves a considerably stress-free last semester. One of these student-athletes is senior track member Gabriel Wright.
“I’m in two classes, both two credits,” Wright said. “One is a requirement for graduation and then the other is a capstone.”
There are rules and guidelines that student-athletes need to follow for them to be eligible to participate in their sport, but Wright has found an exception to those rules.
“All student-athletes must have a full-time status,” Assistant Athletic Director Rachel Bergeson said. “The one exception to that rule is if the student-athlete is in their last semester before graduation. All they are required to take at that point is what they have left needed to graduate.”
The courses left for graduation can’t be just any course. According to Bergeson, the course needs to be within the student’s major, a core requirement or an elective that they need to meet their graduation requirements.
Wright fits into this exception and with a four-credit course load he has been able to dedicate himself to his athletics.
“I work out about four hours a day for track,” Wright said.
Generally, Wright sleeps in, lifts weights three days a week, and on the other days, he throws with a little bit of running. After a quick break for lunch, Wright does what little homework he has from his two classes and then heads down to Olson Forum and goes through an official track practice with fellow teammates.
“I definitely have a fairly stress-free last semester,” Wright said. “The senior sem. and capstone aren’t too terrible.”
To some, this path of part-time student and full-time athlete, may seem like the perfect semester, but like any other school schedule it has its disadvantages.
“I noticed that I sleep in more than I’d like to,” Wright said. “I can kind of do the lifts and working out on my own schedule, so I sleep in more.”
To Wright, the responsibility and tendency to sleep in is a slight disadvantage to his situation. He sees the lack of courses hurting other aspects of his life, such as his former employment.
“I used to work at the circulation desk in the library,” Wright said. “You can only work there if you are in at least six credits, so I don’t have a job anymore.”
While right now, Wright is enjoying the easier race to graduation, if he could he would choose a different path.
“I would probably study abroad,” Wright said. “Which maybe would have made me take more classes this semester, but I am definitely happy being in four credits this last semester.”
is planning to graduate May of 2017 from Concordia College working toward a double major in Communication Studies and Multimedia Journalism.