How to Adjust to Life as an Exercise Science Student

Exercise science is a relatively new field of study, initially making its debut back in 2015. Pursuing a degree in exercise science has drawn in many eager students who share a passion for fitness and exercise and use those skills to change the habits and health of individuals.

However, although the degree itself is relatively new, the concept for this has been around for years, originally labeled exercise physiology. For those who pursue a degree in exercise science, there are a vast number of career opportunities available to them upon graduation, ranging from traditional physical education to cardiac rehabilitation. 

Although many students enter this degree field because they have a passion for health and fitness, many quickly realize that it isn’t as easy as they initially thought. Adjusting to life as an exercise science student isn’t the easiest thing to do, but once you set guidelines for yourself, you will be far more successful within the field and throughout your education. 

Don’t let yourself get overwhelmed

Pursuing a degree in exercise science is hard work, and many students quickly learn that the first few weeks and months of their education can be entirely overwhelming. This is very common for college students, so ensuring you are providing yourself a grace period and not being too hard on yourself is key.

Exercise science is all about understanding the intricate details of the human body, biomechanics, and physiology. You also learn about how human psychology plays an integral role in our body’s movement and the ability of individuals to learn new skills.

However, each of these topics is extremely difficult and time-consuming to learn. Not everything can be learned in a day, and making sure that you aren’t overwhelming yourself is integral to being successful in the degree.

Be prepared for constant learning

As previously mentioned, obtaining a degree in exercise science isn’t easy. Many students come into college with the same mindset they had in high school – that they can simply cram for a test and get an A.

However, this is most definitely not the case in college. You won’t learn everything you need to by simply throwing yourself into your studies. Much of the knowledge you will obtain throughout your exercise science degree is information that you build on.

In other words, once you learn about a topic, you will learn about another topic that branched off the previous one.

You are never truly done learning, as you can never truly learn everything there is to know. That is why it’s integral to go into the degree with a mindset that you don’t know it all, and that is all right. If you are open to continuous learning, you are bound to be successful while pursuing an exercise science degree.  

Set aside downtime

Although being prepared for large amounts of coursework and learning is vital to succeeding with your degree, setting aside downtime is also important. According to The College Investor, if you don’t take downtime for yourself, you may experience symptoms of burnout or depression, as well as put yourself into an information overload.

Everybody needs to take time for themselves, and many colleges and universities recognize that and provide their students with areas to do just that. Berry College, an exercise science school in Georgia, has the world’s largest campus, approximately 27,000 acres, available for students to relax and unwind.

The campus offers outdoor recreational activities, such as kayaking, biking, hiking, and camping. It’s important to attend a college or university that recognizes the importance of downtime for students and provides them with multiple activities and recreational opportunities.   

Reach out to campus support

Studying to pursue a career in exercise science is extremely difficult to work, and there will be many days that are a struggle. If there is too much information, or you just simply need help retaining the information you are attempting to learn, consider reaching out to campus support. Many colleges and universities offer help centers for tutoring at no additional cost. They are there simply to help you when you find yourself overwhelmed or struggling.

There also may be study groups for some of the courses, and you may find there are just as many people struggling to understand the concepts as you. The best part is, these individuals will have a connection with you, as they will understand the unique experience and situation you are in and will be able to provide you with the best support possible.

Stay confident in yourself

Last but not least, stay confident in yourself. As the saying goes, “Confidence is key.” Many students begin to criticize themselves or doubt their own abilities when the going gets hard. However, rather than doubting yourself, it’s important to recognize that you came into this degree with little to no prior industry knowledge.

The information you learn will all be extremely new to you, and it’s okay if you don’t understand it all right off the bat. Don’t underestimate yourself and your abilities. You wouldn’t have been chosen for the courses if you weren’t capable of passing them. 

Overall, the main takeaway is that although pursuing a degree in exercise science may not be the easiest journey, it will be one of the most beneficial. Adjusting to college life is difficult and adjusting to life as an exercise science major is even harder. However, by following these tips, you are bound to be successful within your career and with any future goals and aspirations that you have, as well. 

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