Kerstin Ford is a junior family and consumer sciences (FCS) major in the human development and family resources (HDFR) sequence. She made the decision to commit to Illinois State’s swimming team in 2015.
Being a student athlete and balancing academics isn’t always easy, but Kerstin shares how she manages to do it all:
How do you balance school and being an athlete?
Balancing school and swimming is always tough, especially the first few weeks of the semester. I try to stay ahead of the game and utilize my weekends as much as possible. I accomplish all the work I can on Sundays for the upcoming week. I set my schedule in a way to have an hour or two between classes and practice to finish work or, my favorite … nap. I tend to utilize the Karin L. Bone Athletic Study Center as much as possible as a quiet place to study in the evening after practice.
As a student athlete, what does your average day look like?
An average day consists of waking up for practice at 5:15 a.m. We practice from 5:45–7:30 a.m. I then head to work at the ISU Child Care Center in Turner until 9:35 a.m. Monday through Friday. I usually have classes until noon, depending on the day. At 2:30 p.m. we have our second practice. This practice either consists of weights or swimming and lasts about two hours. I usually get dinner at Tri Towers with the team and head to the study center to finish up any homework. I am usually back to my apartment around 8 p.m. to get ready for the next day.
Why did you choose HDFR?
I heard about HDFR when I transferred to Illinois State in spring 2015. I was talking with my academic advisor about what I wanted to do. She knew exactly what major would get me there. I chose HDFR to become a child life specialist. I enjoy being in classes that discuss human and child development as well as family resources and problems in society. I even use what I have learned about child development when I coach a swim team during summers. It helps knowing how to instruct certain age groups.
What is your favorite part of being in HDFR?
I love being an FCS major. My favorite part is how close everyone is. We are secluded from the rest of the campus, so it makes the bond in FCS close. I have made many close friends in the halls of Turner and I hope to take them with me in my future endeavors.
My dream job is a child life specialist. I would love to work in a hospital with children and their parents who have long term or terminal illnesses. Specialists are the emotional and psychosocial support for these patients.