The transition from high school to college can be difficult on many students.
With classes, the sudden loads of homework and exams, it can be hard to fit in a social life. Add athletics and a part-time job into the mix and it can get overwhelmingly stressful.
Just ask junior Christine Collins. Collins plays on the Keene State College women’s lacrosse team.
She works part-time in the KSC bookstore in the L.P. Young Student Center. And she manages to maintain a 3.2 GPA. As one would imagine it’s not an easy task. Collins said the hardest thing about being a student athlete is making sure she gets her homework done and “finding time to do it.”
“Falling behind in my schoolwork is the most stressful thing about juggling class, sports and homework,” Collins said. “I have to stay late in the library until it closes and then wake up early up again the next morning.”
With a schedule filled with practices and games, Collins said it can get hectic at times.
“I have a lot of games on Tuesday and Thursday and some of my classes for my major conflict with the afternoon, so I’m missing a lot of classes on Tuesday and Thursday,” Collins said.
Although it counts as an excused absence, Collins is willing to do the extra work. Collins said, “I miss all the work that goes along so I have to play catch up.”
But no matter how busy her schedule is, Collins made it clear, “school does come first.”
However, her dedication to school comes at a cost–her social life. “I don’t have much time for social life, but luckily I’m best friends with everybody on my team,” Collins said.
“We usually find time to hang out with each other so that helps out,” she said.
When she’s not on the field or in the library, Collins can be found at the school bookstore where she’s worked for over a year-and-half.
Although it doesn’t happen often, Collins has had to miss a few practices for work.
Luckily for Collins, though, she’s arranged to tell her boss, Carole Kinsella, ahead of time if she has conflicting practices or games. “She has a very good personality and she gets along great with customers,” Kinsella said.
“She’s very helpful, not just with the customers but to her fellow workers and is always willing to do whatever we ask her to do,” she said.
Recently, though, Collins has had to cut back hours due to lacrosse season. But quitting her job all together is not an option.
“I need the money,” Collins said.
“I’m not paying for school, but I do have loans that I need to pay off so I need money in order to do that.” Through all the late night study sessions and early morning work shifts, one thing remains, Collins’ positive attitude towards any endeavor.
Kinsella, who also coaches woman’s field hockey at KSC, has been to a lot of Collins’ games and said she’s a lot like she is at work on the field.
“She’s very team orientated and helps her other players out on the field,” Kinsella said. “She works hard and is always willing to go the extra mile for her team.”
Teammate Nicole Curry said Collins’ is a diligent worker who’s always looking to improve her game.
“She is always positive when we are together as a team, and I feel as if that rubs off onto all the players,” Curry said. Collins’ small 4-foot, 10-inch stature usually puts her at a disadvantage being the goalie.
That doesn’t discourage her though, rather, it motivates her to get better. “Nobody expects me to be a goalie because of my height,” Collins said.
“Most [players] see me and shoot high, which I’ve been working on and I’ve gotten a lot better this year with high shots,” said Collins. Collins’ quick feet and aggression in the net has made her a force to be reckoned with on the field.
“I’m very vocal, I help get the team pumped and keep everybody together,” Collins said.
Alison Lamell can be contacted at