The Big Three: Balancing Academics, Athletics, and Student Groups

By: 
Jonathan Mitchell
Class of: 
2019

My biggest concern while searching for colleges was the potential to be involved outside of just academics and athletics. As a cross country and track & field athlete since middle school, I have heard the age-old statement, “Athletics, Academics, Social: you can only pick two.” But I have always loved fighting this mantra and kept battling until I found my way to St. Lawrence. I realized the campus is filled with student-athletes that have always found a way to balance it all.

Outside of being a student-athlete and working in the Admissions office, I am a member of The Singing Saints a-cappella group and the ODK national leadership honor society. In the past, I have been involved in the University Chorus, Association of Campus Entertainment, and Chess Society (yes…that’s a club!). Yet I’m not too far from a typical SLU student. On my tour, I remember hearing about the many music groups on campus and hearing about how St. Lawrence has over 100 clubs and I could not wait to see where I found myself. I even remember telling my coaches about getting into the Singing Saints after my audition and they all were just as excited for the achievement, whole-heartedly supporting my musical involvement.

Personally, it is a rigorous schedule with six days of practice a week for cross country and our weekly Sunday long runs and balancing that with class and Singing Saints practices three nights a week.  However, many of my fellow a-cappella guys also thrive on the football, track, crew, or baseball teams. Some even live in theme houses or fraternities on top of it all, making an even busier schedule!  If there is any place that you can do anything you want and not limit yourself as a student-athlete, it is the small liberal arts environment of St. Lawrence.  The athletics department even offers seminars on time management for student-athletes to learn additional tips on how to make the most out of your college experience. So, prospective student-athletes or SLU students hoping to get more involved- take a deep breath, find what you love, and go for it!  Nothing is stopping you. With student fairs, email list-serves, and the Student Life Info Desk if you search for it you will find all the student groups you could dream of – yet beware it may be intimidating with how many there are. Just goes to show with SLU’s options of “Academics, Athletics, and Social” – who could ever only pick two?