A Day in the Life of an Ole Miss Student During COVID-19: November Edition

Tim Sandkaulen has never had what most would consider to be a “normal” schedule for a college student. As a senior member of the Ole Miss Men’s Tennis team, Tim’s typical day consists of a carefully-balanced blend of workouts, practice, studying, and classes. Although COVID-19 has certainly created its fair share of challenges and changes for his tennis season, Tim is still staying busy. He is making the most of his senior season and enjoying the little things during this most unforgettable time.  

6:45 a.m. — Being a collegiate tennis player doesn’t allow for lazy mornings. Tim rolls out of bed bright and early each morning and begins by packing his bag for the day.   

7:15 a.m. — Next up: breakfast. For a full day of workouts, practice, and classes, Tim needs a nutritious meal to kick start his day. His go-to breakfast meal consists of scrambled eggs, a piece of toast, and some plain yogurt with fruit.

7:30 a.m. — The best part of the day? A morning walk with his best bud, Louie. This fun-loving poodle entered into Tim’s life earlier this year, and the two have been quite the duo since. Tim shared that having Louie was definitely a highlight of quarantine.

8:15 a.m. — Tim makes sure to devote a portion of his morning to stretching before he heads to his workout. 

9:00 a.m. — During a week without competition, Tim and his teammates hit the gym for workouts four times. Mondays and Thursdays are designated lift days and Tuesdays and Fridays are dedicated to conditioning. The tennis team always works out together, and due to COVID-19 regulations, they always have the gym all to themselves.

10:30 a.m. — With the workout over, it’s time to hit the courts. Normally, the tennis team practices for two hours a day, six days a week. Three of the sessions are team practices, and the other two are individual sessions. Due to the pandemic, only four of the players are in Oxford to practice and compete. The other five decided to opt out of playing for the semester and stay home with their families. Although Tim enjoys the smaller practices that allow for more individualized help from the coaches, he misses practicing with the full team and hopes they can all be reunited in the spring semester. 

12:45 p.m. — With a short break between practice and class, he usually grabs a protein bar for lunch that is nutritionist-approved. Ole Miss athletes fortunately have nutritionists that ensure Tim and other student-athletes are always well equipped and taken care of. 

1:00 p.m. — Now it’s time to begin the school day. Tim is an IMC major, and he enjoys each of his classes. He’s able to combine his passion for sports with his interest in marketing through classes such as sports photography and sports promotion. Although being a student-athlete requires a great deal of discipline to balance tennis and his studies, this semester hasn’t been too difficult for Tim. He’s used to taking heavier course loads, so being enrolled in just twelve hours has made his schedule a bit easier. 

7:00 p.m. — After a few hours of class and studying, Tim’s school day is done. It’s time for dinner. He loves cooking and venturing out with his choices, so he strives to cook something new each week. He’s been the proud new owner of a nicer grill for a few months. One of his favorite meals to prepare is grilled steak or salmon with grilled vegetables and rosemary potatoes. When Chef Sandkaulen decides to step away from the kitchen or grill, you can likely find him eating out in one of Oxford’s many delicious restaurants. His favorite dining spots are Tarasque, Volta, Rice and Spice, and Oxford Canteen.

 7:30 p.m. — As Tim begins to wind down for the day, he always looks forward to his evening stroll with Louie. Since he’s had his nearly eight-month-old pup, Tim has become fond of their long walks and has grown to enjoy simply being in the moment.