Balancing Academics and Sports Athletics

Saguirah Mlah, a standout student at Mindanao State University-Maguindanao, epitomizes the balance between academic excellence and athletic prowess. As a dedicated softball player and a consistent Dean’s Lister, Saguirah’s journey is a testament to hard work, discipline, and a passion for both sports and education.

Reflecting on her college journey, Saguirah shared, “I am honored and proud to share my college story as an average student. I am not as gifted as others. Growing up, I knew I needed to exert extra effort to keep up with most of the lectures. My family did not put any pressure on me; it was me who put that pressure on myself because I believed I needed to meet my inner child’s expectations. Inside the classroom, I strived hard to pass every course. I always gave my best. However, reality made me realize that giving your best doesn’t always mean you get the best results. Yes, I gave my best, but sometimes the results were disappointing. Nevertheless, those efforts did not change my routine. Instead, they pushed me to strive harder. Whatever happened at the end of the day, it was not others who gained the learning experience, but myself. That’s how college molded me to become better.”

From a young age, Saguirah’s love for softball was evident. Growing up in a small town where sports were central to the community, she spent countless hours practicing on local fields. Her talent and dedication paid off when she was given opportunity to play for the MSU-Maguindanao softball team. “Playing softball at the college level has always been my dream,” Saguirah shares. “The thrill of the game and the camaraderie with my teammates drive me.”

Saguirah’s achievements extend beyond the softball field. Majoring in Fisheries with aspirations in general fisheries, she has maintained an impressive academic record throughout her college career. “Balancing sports and studies is challenging, but it’s all about time management and setting priorities,” Saguirah explains. Her commitment to academics has earned her a spot on the Dean’s List every semester since her freshman year. With this, she will graduate with Latin honors, a testament to her academic excellence.

Mindanao State University-Maguindanao has played a significant role in promoting sports and education to develop well-rounded students. The university supports student-athletes by providing training facilities, and academic support to ensure they can excel both in their studies and sports. “MSU-Maguindanao has been incredibly supportive throughout my journey,” Saguirah says. “They understand the importance of balancing academics and athletics, and they provide the resources needed to succeed in both areas.”

As she approaches graduation, Saguirah reflects on her journey with gratitude and pride. “My college experience has been incredibly fulfilling,” she says. “I’ve learned so much about myself and what I’m capable of. I’m excited to see what the future holds, both in my career in fisheries and in continuing to play softball.”

She offered words of encouragement to the younger generation and fellow students: “Give yourself exposure even if the world doesn’t want you to have it. You need to get out of your comfort zone. Join organizations, attend training, volunteer, and connect with other groups of students. These activities will help you discover your hidden skills and talents. Participate in gatherings that might boost your confidence, especially in public speaking, so that you will no longer be afraid to speak in front of people. This way, you can freely express your thoughts and wonderful ideas. Surround yourself with people who have a good mindset and offer words of wisdom. Quality friends over quantity—so be vigilant in making friends. Lastly, learn to be independent.”

Saguirah’s story is an inspiration to many, demonstrating that with determination and hard work, it is possible to excel in multiple areas. Her message to fellow students and athletes is clear: “Never give up on your dreams, no matter how challenging the path may seem. With dedication and perseverance, you can achieve anything you set your mind to.”