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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


University of Arizona star athletes offer study tips to their peers, fellow students

Diana Ramos from El Inde Arizona

Student athletes have resources at the Ginny L. Clements Academic Center.

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

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

“I’m very excited to be done with my last finals,” Thomas said. “It feels weird knowing that these are my last finals and all I have to do is pass them and my master’s is done.”

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

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

RELATED: Arizona men’s tennis team celebrates first ever Pac-12 Championship 

Thomas’ key to academic success: “Getting a head start on everything,” she said. 

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

She says a key to study success is to get organized and keep organized. Thomas recommends having a planner where you can write all your deadlines and when to do your homework. 

“Putting your phone away also is key,” she said. “You can get so much done when you are not on your phone.” 

If you’re an athlete, she recommends knowing when you are having an away competition so you can plan ahead when talking to the professors 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 off something that I just finished,” Correa said. 

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

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

Every sport has different practice schedules. Some sports practice in the morning, others in the afternoon and others might have double training sessions. 

“Finding a time that works the 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 counselors to help with the student half of being a student-athlete. 

For freshmen and transfer students, it is mandatory to have study halls, a time on the day when freshmen have to do homework with a tutor or counselor supervising them. Additionally, they have weekly meetings with their academic counselor for grade checks. In this way, student-athletes are on track with their school work and also helps the student-athlete department to know in which areas they can best support student-athletes. 

During her freshman year, Thomas had study hall from 5 to 7 p.m. 

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

She thanks CATS-Academics for helping her to build good study habits and get her homework done. 

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

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

Besides their academic and athletic responsibilities, several student-athletes take a step up and join different groups or organizations on campus. Thomas and Correa are part of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, where Correa is co-chair/president. 

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 
  • Chew gum, it helps you to remember 
  • Use voice memos when writing a long paper; it helps you with the flow and organization 

University of Arizona student resources

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

Services available include:

  • Tutoring, from one-on-one sessions to group tutoring in a variety of subject 
  • Graduate Writing lab
  • Math lab 
  • Academic skills workshops 

For more information, visit

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