UPís Kathy Bersola on balancing volleyball and school

Barry Viloria on Mar 10, 2016 04:54 PM
UPís Kathy Bersola on balancing sports and school
The Lady Maroons' summa cum laude-running team captain keeps it tight when it comes to her duties as a scholaróand Iskolar ng Bayan. How does she do it? (Photos taken from Bersola's Instagram account: @kb08_)

Excelling on court is one thing, doing great in class is another. Still reeling from the UP Lady Maroons’ victory over defending UAAP women’s volleyball champs Ateneo last weekend, one that ended Diliman’s nine-game losing streak versus their Katipunan neighbor, team captain Kathy Bersola exemplifies both. She’s currently on summa cum laude standing—1.18 is her present general weight average—as if it’s a trend in UP to have uber-smart captains steering their varsity squads! (Remember JR Gallarza of the UP Fighting Maroons?)

Keeping it tight when it comes to her duties as a scholar—and Iskolar, the 19-year-old Makati Science High School pride recites the cliché:  “The ‘student’ comes before the ‘athlete.’ Always!”

“Am I a nerd? Medyo!” she then laughs. “Grade-conscious ako, eh! Kung gaano ako ka-competitive sa sports, ganun din sa acads.”

Ever wondered how Bersola does it? We recently caught up with her, where she shared some helpful tips in being a superwoman. Student-athletes, and those who are too melodramatic about juggling school and, well, life, in general, read below!


Bersola values time management above anything else, knowing which stuff on her to-do list is more at stake now. For her, obviously, it’s both volleyball and fulfilling her course. She has timed and spaced her responsibilities very vividly that she’s almost never cut class. “I don’t really skip class. Once pa lang ako nag-cut on purpose ever—and it was to watch a beach volleyball game!” she laughs.

Make the most out of your time, always be productive.

Good thing Bersola knows how to compartmentalize. When she’s into something, she puts all her focus onto it before proceeding to her next responsibility to accomplish. When in class, she says, “Pay attention, so that you wouldn’t need to review as much na (when it’s exam season).”


A photo posted by Kathy Bersola (@kb08_) on

Learn how to sacrifice

Don’t let her “summa” tag fool you—Bersola does know when to have fun. “I read teen fiction, watch rom-coms and How I Met Your Mother, I travel and go on road trips, I play some instruments like the drums and guitar and sing kahit pangit ang voice ko!” she mentions. But all these are reduced or fully take the backseat once Coach Jerry Yee calls her for training. That’s what sacrifice is to this lady jock.

Surround yourself with a supportive group of people

“…And yung mga similar na situation mo, mas okay,” Bersola notes. Next to her family (her mom and sister also play volley), the ones closest to her at this point in her collegiate career are clearly her teammates. And then there are also her orgmates at UP Pre-Medical Society (she dreams of becoming an orthopedist someday). “Last time ata na nag-night out ako with friends was a debut party ng teammate sa Pool Club!” she laughs. “Pag orgmates, usually around UP lang kami nagha-hang out.”


A photo posted by Kathy Bersola (@kb08_) on


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