A day in the life of Christopher Hawkins: the life of a student-athlete


Christopher Hawkins, criminal justice sophomore.

It’s 5 a.m. and while most students are sound asleep, his day has just begun. The ringing sounds of whistle blowing consume his ears, as he practices each play repeatedly like clock-work.

Christopher Hawkins, criminal justice sophomore, has dedicated his life to football.

“Football is my life. There aren’t many other things that bring me as much happiness as touching that field does,” said Hawkins.

Juggling the demands of both football and school has become even harder tasks now that he’s tackling 16 hours of classes.

“I usually wake up at 5 a.m. every day, and after beginning my morning with an intense workout, I have meetings for about an hour. After meetings, I rush to class at 9:30 a.m. and stay in class until 11 a.m.,” Hawkins said.

After his 11 a.m. class, Hawkins has a small break until his next class begins. For him, there isn’t much time for lunch or homework because, he said, he’s so exhausted. Being a student athlete requires some sacrifice and sometimes his sleep is put on the back-burner.

“Balancing between being a student and athlete is hard. A lot of times I have to sacrifice eating or sleeping just so I can have time to do my homework. It’s important for me to make use of the little time I have. At the end of the day, I am here for my education,” Hawkins said.

Once Hawkins small break is over, class resumes at 1 p.m.

“Once class is over, I run to football meetings at 3 p.m. and then practice starts at 3:45 p.m. Practice normally lasts for a couple of hours. After practice ends I have class from 6-8:50 p.m. and this doesn’t even include the days I have study hall,” said Hawkins.

By the end of the day, Hawkins said he feels exhausted as his body starts to feel like a piece of worn-out machinery.

“Although I may feel extremely exhausted by the end of the day, I try to keep in mind that it’s a blessing that I am even able to play, especially when I look back on the struggles I’ve faced to get where I am today. It’s also people that wish they were in my spot, so I always have to stay on my toes,” Hawkins said.

Despite his complete dedication and love for football, Hawkins said he feels like he has missed out on the true college experience.

“Since I’ve been in college, I have never really been able to get involved in the different organizations I’m interested in. Football really takes up so much of my time and I don’t think other students truly understand how much of a commitment being an athlete is. My entire college experience is shared between football and school,” Hawkins said.

Hawkins’s dedication and passion for football is noticeable to those around him like Anthony Tennison, kinesiology sophomore and roommate.

“Chris is one of those people that is always 100 percent committed to what he puts his mind to, when everyone else is playing around or slacking, Chris is on the field trying to improve his craft. I admire Chris, as a teammate and a friend, because you don’t find many people in our generation with that kind of work ethic. When he works hard, that pushes me to work harder, because we grind together,” Tennison said.

According to his other teammate and roommate, Khalil Finley education sophomore, said Hawkins’s dedication to football outside of practice helps him succeed.

“During any break, you can bet money that Chris is going to be working out back at home. This is what makes a true athlete. A lot of individuals only strive to do the bare minimum just to get some playing time, but you can tell Chris has a different kind of love for football. When I see him working out during the breaks, that only causes me to question myself and wonder why I’m not doing the same thing. Chris is definitely a leader, and he pushes his peers to do better,” Finley said.

Outside of football and keeping up with his grades, Hawkins said he really enjoys being in his room and staying out of trouble.

“On the weekends when practice is over and all my homework is done, I enjoy playing 2K, Madden and sometimes going to the gym to play basketball with my friends. Whenever I have time to relax I always take advantage of it, because when the season starts, there isn’t going to be anymore time for relaxing,” said Hawkins.