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Student athletes wish they were just ‘Drake Busy’

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by DRAKE LOHSE

“Drake Busy” Definition: adjective;  a sense of being overwhelmed or extraordinarily imposed by responsibility that is specific to the experience of being a student at Drake University.

The assumption that Drake students are more occupied than students anywhere else is worthy of debate, but there is no denying it, Drake students have a lot to do. Student athletes at Drake are so enveloped in an aggressive routine the term “Drake Busy” doesn’t even pierce their psyches. Student athletes have the same academic responsibilities but have to take care of them in between practices, training sessions, and a rigorous road schedule.

“Most road trips are a two day affair. The longest we’d be on the road during the season is 4-5 days,” said Leroy Ensuguzi (Jr.), a forward for Drake soccer, “During the conference tournament we will typically miss 3-5 days of class during the week. Our coaches require us to study on the bus, whether it’s reading for class or homework with a teammate. Sometimes tests and quizzes are missed, which we can have proctored to us on the road if the teacher is unwilling to let us take the test earlier.” 

Ensuguzi’s snapshot is only of life on the road. On campus Drake athletes hustle right back into a consistent routine. A routine not specific to any one sport either. Athletes across all sports, be it men’s basketball or women’s volleyball, will testify to the nature of their routines.

“Right now is one of the more intense times of year,” said Samm Jones (Jr.), a forward for Drake basketball, “A day might be 6am: conditioning; 6:45am: weights; 9am-12pm: class; 1-2pm: treatment; 2:30-4pm: practice; 5-8pm: study hall; and repeat. Not all times of year are busy but a huge part of being a collegiate athlete is doing more. On days not fully booked you’re still expected to hit the gym with a coach or teammates, and work on your game.”

With a schedule as intense as the one Drake athletes across all sports share, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to have doubts from time to time. 

“I’ve caught myself thinking ‘why did I do this’ or ‘is this even worth it’ many times”, said Kylee Macke (Jr.), a volleyball player, “I’ve definitely felt that waking up at 5:30am four times a week in the summer or during conditioning when we are 10 sprints in and have five or six more to go. I think it on weekends when I see snapchat stories of everyone having fun. I don’t want to use the term “normal college student”, but I’ve definitely envied them many, many times.”

The typical regular season at Drake lasts 4-5 months. This excludes both the preseason and playoff matches. The longest season belongs to the Drake’s track runners who start the indoor season December 8th and are last scheduled for the NCAA West Preliminary on May 25th.

But there is time for relief. For Macke, that relief comes when she gives herself time to ‘be herself’. Sometimes alone but usually with her teammates by her side, as always. 

“I am very lucky that my home is only 20 minutes away,” Macke said, “If I want a Sunday to just relax and have a homemade meal I can. But, I bring as many teammates that want to come as I can, especially those who live out-of-state. I also try to take one day to do something for myself, going to the mall or the movies or whatever. Something to remind me that I do have a life outside of school and volleyball.”

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