Ateneo's Cassie Lim making it count on and off the badminton court
Santino Honasan on Nov 16, 2016 12:29 PM
"But at the end of the day, all these sacrifices are worth it because it is through these that I am able to achieve things that I never thought possible. "
In our continuing search for the individuals who define what it means to be a student athlete, we've come across a number of individuals who have managed to stand out and excel both in school an in the arena.
Earlier, we got to know more about incoming sophomore De La Salle booter Jed Diamante, who's done his part in the classrooms and on the pitch.
Now, we head over to the proverbial other side of the world in Katipunan, where Ateneo women's badminton team player Cassie Lim has also managed to make it count in school and on the court.
A member of the Ateneo Women's Badminton team that recently finished second in UAAP Season 79, Cassie says that she found her way to the sport early in life.
"My mom was the first one in our family to play badminton and at a very young age of 8, I used to tag along whenever she would play with her friends." Cassie told ABS-CBN Sports. "The summer after I discovered badminton, my mom enrolled me in a summer badminton camp and the rest is history. I developed a love for the sport and have been playing it ever since."
Cassie juggles being a member of the badminton team with being a third year BS Psychology major, an academic path she chose because she plans on going into medical school in the future.
"I chose BS Psychology because not only is it a good introductory course for my future medical studies but it is also a very diverse and flexible area of study that deals with people and I find that very interesting."
Getting by in a course like BS Psychology while also having to put time into being an athlete is already an impressive feat on it's own.
Cassie, however, isn't just getting by. She's doing well. Like, Dean's Lister well, with a 3.91 QPI last semester.
So how does Cassie do it?
"As cliché as it sounds, I believe that time management is the key to being able to balance everything," shares Cassie. "Managing my time did not come easy and it took me a while to perfect this feat. It took me some time to realize that I need to always set my priorities straight, especially if I want to achieve my goals. Having the right attitude and mindset are also big factors that contribute to the balance that I am able to maintain in my student-athlete life."
Cassie adds that it helps that she's a bit meticulous when it comes to making sure that everything is in order.
"I am a rigorous planner and I make sure to list everything down, even the most minute details, so that I am able to accomplish everything that I have to do within a specific time frame. I try to set deadlines for myself so that I do not cram my requirements and to ensure that I am able to devote a sufficient amount of time in completing my work for the best results possible."
For a student-athlete like Cassie, it can get difficult to find time for yourself, but she says that she makes sure she makes time for herself because it helps her in the bigger scheme of things.
"Being a student-athlete is a full-time job and even if it takes a lot of schedule- making just to fit in some time for myself, it is something that I always make sure to do. Having some time to myself allows me to recover, recuperate, and prepare for the following weeks so that I may not burn out and instead, be more excited for whatever it is I have ahead of me."
During the UAAP season, Cassie shares that her days start at 6:00 in the morning, and can end as late as 3:00 am.
"Everyday, I wake up at around 6:00 in the morning to prepare for our 6:30 AM training session. After 2 hours of training, I proceed to school for my classes that day, which usually end at 5 PM. Following my classes would be another training session from 5 PM to 7 PM. I start studying and doing my work at around 8:30 to 9 PM. On a day with little to no work, I get to sleep at around 11:30 PM. But on days with a heavy workload, getting to sleep at around 3:00 AM would be fortunate already. My life has become a continuous cycle of train - study - train - study - repeat."
Cassie admits that it gets hard at times, but says that once she sees being able to achieve the things that she has makes everything worth while in the end.
"Having to live the student-athlete life is not easy and it most definitely comes with its fair share of sacrifices - not being able to conveniently hang out with my friends whenever I want to, having to wake up much earlier than other students, and not being able to do much of other things aside from study and train. But at the end of the day, all these sacrifices are worth it because it is through these that I am able to achieve things that I never thought possible. "
"I know that winning and being the best will take that extra push and effort that others aren’t willing to exert. That’s why I make sure to give that little extra no matter how tired I am or how difficult it may be." Cassie adds.
So what advice can a successful student-athlete like Cassie give to those aspiring student-athletes out there?
"Aside from managing your time wisely and having a winner’s mentality, one of the most important things to remember and one of the things that people certainly overlook is to enjoy what you’re doing. Always remember the reasons you do what you do and the rest will follow. Stay grounded and humble but at the same time, stay focused and never stop pushing yourself in becoming the best you can be. Excelling in both sports and academics is not a privilege handed out just to anyone; it is an accomplishment crafted out of your own perseverance and determination. There is no such thing as easy in this student-athlete life, which is why you must patiently take everything one at a time. Not everything comes instantly."