Many students take a time out from their everyday life and focus solely on school. Student athletes like junior Wellington Smith have to balance studying and school work with practice and basketball games.
Finals week at West Virginia ran from December 8th through the 12th, with many students having exams every day of the week. The basketball team had to leave in the middle of the week to travel to New York City on Tuesday. They played a toughly fought battle against Davidson and were defeated 68-65. The team was away from Morgantown just 24 hours for the game as an attempt to not interrupt with the players' exams, but any distraction from cramming for finals is a tough thing to deal with, even for an accomplished student like Smith. Although the Davidson game was seemingly just a brief pause in the busy week, Smith has found it difficult to battle both schoolwork and basketball during the busy week.
"(It's been) complicated just because you have to stay (at the Coliseum.) On Wednesday, we had the day off and I was here twice. I got here once at (noon) and stayed until my final at 3:00pm. Then I came back around 4:00pm and stayed until 8:00, and I was studying that whole time. I think I did well," Smith said.
When studying at the Coliseum, Smith stays to himself so that he can focus on his work. He doesn't study with anyone else – even his teammates.
"If we were all in the same group, trying to study, then we wouldn't be studying we would just be messing around," Smith joked.
Coach Huggins understands the demands put on his players during this busy week.
"This is a hard week. Finals week is a hard week for anybody. You have to stay up studying, finishing projects, and doing those kinds of things. It's been a long time ago but I kind of remember it. It's a hard week. Our guys are kind of out of their normal routine," Huggins said of the stressful week.
Smith, a communications major, is considering changing his major to multidisciplinary studies which entails having three minor fields of study with focus on communications, sociology and child development. His favorite class during his time at West Virginia was an elective scuba diving class, although he wasn't a fan of its early starting time.
"I really liked either (scuba diving) and public speaking with Carolyn Atkins," said Smith, a member of the Athletic Director's academic honor roll and a Big East academic all-star.
Whereas some students may have trouble balancing their classes alone, Smith, like just about every athlete at WVU, has been able to balance a full time academic schedule along with their sport of choice. Only a few, however, are called on to compete during finals week. It's another one that Smith, along with his teammates, have met.