Parks & Rec – A Day in the Life of a Sport and Recreation Management Major

When most college students hear about the Sport and Recreation Management major, they immediately think of jocks who want an easy ride through college and are out to own a professional sports team someday. However, that could not be further from the truth. At Millikin University, the sport and recreation management major is anything but easy, and the students who take it are prepared to work in plenty of settings besides the pros.

Now, the first misconception regarding the sport and recreation major is that the students want an easy ride through college. However, the workload of a sport and rec major can be just as challenging to balance as any other major on campus. One reason for this is the number of extra-curricular activities that sport and rec majors are involved in. For example, over 90% of Class of 2022 sport and rec majors are on an athletic team at Millikin, and 100% have played at some point during their Millikin career. Coupling athletics, with sport and rec work, and other extracurriculars can be extremely challenging. I can tell you that from personal experience.

But enough about myself. I sat down with Millikin Junior Dawson Jones to get his takes on balancing the workload. Jones said that a lot of the struggle was time management. “It can be tough to find the time to sit down and write 2 multi-page papers a week when you have practices and games every day to go with classes and other extracurriculars”. However, Jones, along with other student-athletes at Millikin, find a way to balance out the time and give school their all. The time spent by sport and rec majors completing work and studying is usually around 2 hours per night. For most of us, nighttime is the only time we have available to complete our work and study up. Our mornings and early parts of the day are often spent in class, and our afternoons and evening are often spent in practices, games, and co/extra-curricular activities.

However, all the grinding to make the time is worth it in the end. The sport and rec major was recently overhauled to include a broader range of recreation-based curriculum. I asked Assistant Professor Joel Blanco about the reasoning behind the changes. “We wanted to broaden the major to prepare our graduates for more fields. Sure, there are jobs in pro sports, but there are only so many pro sports teams, whereas the vast majority of municipalities have parks and rec department”. Blanco’s words are not empty. The opportunities that this program prepares you for are limitless. If you asked a current sport and rec major what they wanted to do after college, you would get plenty of answers besides, “Have my own sports team”.

If you are looking into sport and recreation management as your major, I would recommend this. Come into this program with an open mind, and a good work ethic. You have no idea how many doors may open for you here at Millikin.

Dawson Jones, Junior
Sport & Rec Management
Joel Blanco, Assistant Professor
Millikin University
Nick Nemeth, Junior
Sport & Rec Management Major

Nick Nemeth is a Junior currently studying Sport and Recreation Management with a minor in communication at Millikin University. He is a student-athlete working in intercollegiate athletics as well as residence life.

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