University of Arizona star athletes offer study tips to peers and classmates

With finals week on the horizon, there’s no time to slow down, especially if you’re Arizona women’s basketball star Sam Thomas and have a 4.0 GPA.

Thomas, a fifth-year graduate student, is going through her final 10th week in her college career.

“I’m very excited to have finished my last final,” said Thomas. “It’s weird to know that these are my last finals and all I have to do is pass them and my master’s is over.”

Then there’s Eric Correa, a senior on the Arizona men’s diving team who has a 3.6 GPA and, like Thomas, juggles training, rehabilitation, recovery time and travel. to competitions in addition to his busy course schedule.


These athletes have tips for their fellow athletes that can also benefit all students at this time of year.

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The key to Thomas’ academic success: “Being one step ahead of everything,” she says.

Sitting on the couch in the two-story house where she currently lives, she does her homework with her dog, Proxy, beside her. The TV is on – she likes to have some background noise. While studying, she chews gum and drinks water.

She says the key to academic success is getting organized and staying organized. Thomas recommends having a planner where you can write down all your deadlines and when to do your homework.

“Storing your phone is also essential,” she said. “There’s so much you can do when you’re not on your phone.”

If you’re an athlete, she recommends knowing when you’re having a competition away so you can plan ahead when talking to teachers and getting things done before the trip.

For Correa, having a checklist is the best way to keep track of his responsibilities.

“I really like the satisfaction of crossing out something that I just finished,” Correa said.

By compartmentalizing and knowing where your priorities lie, Correa believes that time management, organization, and being proactive with your time are essential skills that even regular students should possess. It encourages the use of apps like a calendar, reminders, and notes.

Student-athletes go through rigorous days. Therefore, getting sleep and good food in your body will prepare you for the next day.

Each sport has different training schedules. Some sports practice in the morning, some in the afternoon, and some may have double workouts.

“Finding a time that works best for you and your schedule is fundamental,” Thomas said.

The University of Arizona provides resources for student-athletes, including CATS-Academics, a learning center where student-athletes have access to study rooms, computers, tutoring and academic advisors to help the student to become a student-athlete.

For freshmen and transfer students, it is mandatory to have study rooms, a time during the day when freshmen must do their homework with a tutor or counselor who supervises them. In addition, they have weekly meetings with their academic advisor for grade checks. This way, student-athletes are on the right track with their schoolwork and also helps the student-athlete department know in what areas they can best support student-athletes.

In his freshman year, Thomas had a study hall from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

“There was literally no way for you not to pass your classes,” she said.

She credits CATS-Academics for helping her develop good study habits and do her homework.

During the fall 2021 semester, the student-athlete department’s average GPA was 3.157, which is the highest GPA on record and is the seventh consecutive year that Arizona has broken its GPA record. of the fall semester.

“Student-athletes are among the most motivated and goal-oriented students on campus,” said Marisol Quiroz, director of CATS-Academics.

Along with their academic and athletic responsibilities, many student-athletes take the leap and join different groups or organizations on campus. Both Thomas and Correa serve on the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, where Correa serves as Co-Chair/Chair.

Want to excel during finals week? Here are some pro tips from Thomas:

  • Find a place where you can focus
  • Get a planner
  • Keep your phone aside
  • Keep your laptop plugged in
  • Drink water
  • Chewing gum helps you remember
  • Use voice memos when writing a long document; it helps you with flow and organization

Resources for University of Arizona students

Visit the University of Arizona THINK TANK located in the Bartlett Academic Success Center, 1435 E. Fourth St., second floor. The center offers the following support services from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday to Thursday until 5 p.m. Fridays and from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Sundays; closed on Saturday. Most services are free unless you book a longer session and recurring sessions in person or on Zoom.

Services available include:

  • Tutoring, from individual sessions to group tutoring in a variety of subjects
  • Graduate Writing Lab
  • Math lab
  • Academic skills workshops

For more information, visit

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