HELL week, according to the Urban Dictionary, is usually around midterms and finals. It’s that dreadful time when exams, term papers, and group projects are all due, on top of regular homework and extracurricular activities.
And it's worse for student-athletes because they have twice-a-day practice for two to three hours.
Ateneo top hitter Kat Tolentino, who juggles her responsibilities as a fifth-year business management student and an athlete in the UAAP, shares tips on how to survive hell week.
1. Priority is key
She’s a no-nonsense person so Kat likes to keep it straight and simple.
Her first tip is to know which is more important and focus on that first.
“Honestly, you can’t do everything [at the same time]. You can’t study for an exam for a whole day ‘cause you don’t have the time [you also go to training] so you choose which ones to prioritize,” she says.
2. Ask for help
Having a good support system is probably one of the best ways to survive not just hell week, but life.
Kat points out that aside from her teammates, she can rely on their managers and tutors at school.
“I also learned to ask for help if you can’t [do everything] ‘cause that’s a big factor,” she says.
“Of course it [good support system] helps. Here in Ateneo we have tutors and if we need any help we can talk to the managers,” she adds.
3. Learn how to sacrifice
There’s time for everything, for school, for volleyball, and for social life.
Kat explains that, especially during UAAP season, there’s no time for some R&R.
“Well for me, unfortunately, during hell week whenever it’s UAAP, you don’t have that luxury to relax or take a break,” she says.
“Because if you do, you’re already way behind in volleyball or school so you have to take that as a sacrifice as a student, or a student-athlete,” she adds.
“And we all knew that coming into Ateneo it’s not easy because sometimes you have to sacrifice sleep and social life so we can handle our main priorities and it’s really all about balance,” she continues.
Being a student-athlete requires a lot of hard work, perseverance and, according to former Ateneo coach Tai Bundit, heart strong.
Kat believes that it all boils down to the person’s self-discipline.
“But in the end, it’s really up to you if you want to study and stay in Ateneo,” she says. “Because you see, if you’re not gonna study, you can’t play.”