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On the Run: A Delicate Work-Sports Balance

March 14th, 2011
Corey Conner

Corey Conner

By Corey Conner
West Townsend, Mass.

As a freshman, I came to the University of Maine with the ultimate goal of graduating with a degree in nursing while balancing being a three-season athlete — I am  a member of the university’s cross country and track and field teams. So far this has been quite the challenge; I have learned that it takes a great deal of discipline to balance these two areas of my life so that neither is neglected in any way.

Through my three years in the School of Nursing’s undergraduate program I have found myself learning and growing as a student and an individual, and I have also found myself gaining a profound respect for the profession and all that it involves. I understand how challenging it is for students to work their way through the program and adequately develop their nursing skills so that they can take and pass the NCLEX exams, administered by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing, to become a registered nurse. This program demands a student’s full attention. As both a Nursing major and an athlete I have been able to equally divide my attention and efforts between both nursing and running. The faculty and staff in my program have been very accommodating to the hectic schedule that often accompanies a student-athlete’s demands. There have been many times when both traveling to meets and practice schedules have conflicted with my academics; yet maintaining good communication with my instructors has allowed me to find ways in which I can still accomplish both.

As an athlete, in particular a Division I college athlete, a disciplined mind-set is needed to train, to compete, and to succeed. I have also found that this particular characteristic is needed to progress through the undergraduate Nursing program. Having this attitude toward my studies has helped me to remain focused in the program. I truly believe that being a strong-willed, determined individual will lead you to your goals in life; my goals are to be the best runner and the best nurse that I can be and the University of Maine has helped me to do both.

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