Collegiate student-athletes are often praised for their ability to skillfully manage a wide array of responsibilities. To get a better understanding of this impressive ability, I spent the day with Gavin Akoto ’25, a player for the men’s volleyball team. While playing at Vassar, Akoto won a UVC Rookie of the Week recognition and contributed to his team’s 3.60 GPA in 2022.
I joined Akoto for an average Thursday in his life at Vassar.
I was afraid I’d have to wake up before the sun to accompany him to a practice or workout, but he instead scheduled us to meet just before his noon class at Blodgett Hall. I arrived at his room at 11:40 a.m., thinking it a pretty reasonable time to head over to class. I knocked once—no response. I tried again. Nothing. I sat down outside of his room and texted him. He didn’t answer, and wouldn’t, until he suddenly emerged from his room at 11:54 a.m. He had the look of someone who had woken up less than five minutes prior; the grogginess in his voice confirmed this.
“Sorry. But I’m gonna have to scooter,” he said as he headed towards the stairs. “We can meet again at the Deece after my class.”
I followed Akoto down the stairs and watched him unfold his scooter and fade into the distance. But just as he passed the Deece, I watched him step off his scooter. He was preoccupied by something on his phone, though I couldn’t tell what. As I walked back towards my room at Noyes, I watched him step off his scooter again on two more occasions, all seeming to be for the same reason. I couldn’t tell what was on his phone, but I figured it to be important. He was in a reasonable rush, after all.
When I arrived at the Deece at 1:30 p.m., Akoto was seated at the end of one of the long tables in the center.
“Why’d you keep stopping on your way to Blodgett earlier today? Everything alright?”
“There was a Dratini outside of Noyes. And a Magnemite in front of the Deece,” Akoto responded with noticeable confidence in his actions.
“Pokemon Go,” he added, once he noticed I was confused.
“So you were late to class because of Pokemons? I’m assuming you were late, right?”
“Only five minutes. And the Dratini was a three star. 100 percent worth it, if you ask me.”
“Doesn’t your professor care that you showed up late?”
“Eh, it’s probably fine.”
I made sure to note when Akoto left the Deece for his 2 p.m. work shift: 1:56 p.m. Even if his work was nearby, I wouldn’t bet on his timeliness.
We met again at Kenyon Hall after his practice ended at 7 p.m., and I guess I was naive to assume he’d be in some kind of rush or that he’d have a significant amount of work to do.
“Nah. I don’t have class on Friday, so tonight’s not for homework,” he explained as we walked towards the quad. “Tonight is an Overwatch 2 night.”
I left the Davison basement at 2 a.m. It’s when I finally decided that my commitment to feature journalism ended and turned into writer abuse.
Akoto didn’t even notice I had left. After a trip to Late Night for fries, Akoto had set up his PlayStation and hopped into a game with his friends back home in Chicago, who were an hour behind, in Central Time.
“It’s perfect. They never get to complain about needing to go to sleep,” he told me after the fury of losing his first game had passed him.
“At least he gets enough sleep?” I thought to myself as I walked back to Noyes.