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Finding the Freshman Balance

To start the new school year, UEA’s college advising team has compiled a list of helpful tips to assist our college students as they begin their new academic year:



Find a friend.

As a competitive athlete, whether you are an equestrian or in another sport, you are going to miss class at some point. To do this successfully, two things need to happen: first, connect with your professor early in the semester. We recommend that you email or stop by during office hours in the first two weeks. It is important to let your professor know that you have a competitive sport that you participate in, but your schoolwork is your number one priority. Simply making an effort to personally connect with each professor will go a long way in garnering support and will help assure success in their class. Secondly, make a friend in each class. Sit with someone and get to know that person. Exchange numbers and email addresses, so that you can share notes from class on the days either of you has to miss. Having someone in class, other than the professor, that you can ask questions, will be very beneficial.


Find a balance.

Competitive sports have a busy season that will conflict with your academic schedule. Knowing this in advance, it is wise to plan your academic schedule accordingly. For example, equestrians competing at the Winter Equestrian Festival, might want to take a lighter course load in the spring semester and ensure that their Fridays are open for showing. Unfortunately, this sometimes means that students fall behind with the required number of credits. UEA works with our students and their advisors to make a long-term plan for graduating on schedule. Oftentimes this means that we will need to find summer accredited online courses that can be used to keep them on pace . UEA’s long-standing relationships with schools across the country and knowledge of the process involved ensures that our students graduate on the timeline they desire.


Find a plan—or a planner!

UEA offers weekly correspondence with our college students. In order to balance a busy academic course load with a demanding sport, our students regularly meet with an advisor. At the beginning of the semester, the advisor goes over the syllabi for the semester, making an overall plan and calendar that incorporates the student’s training and competition schedule. Doing this helps our students to make a plan to juggle big assignments and exams, which allows the advisor to ensure that the student stays on track. For students who are committed to success both in the classroom and in their sport, the weekly check-ins improve their focus and ease transitions between school and competition.


UEA offers college advising services at every point in your journey, from the start of the college application process to subject tutoring and even internship and career services. We are committed to assisting in the success of our college students in the classroom and beyond.


© 2018 by Upper Echelon Academy of Palm Beach and NYC