I don’t have any swimming stats from college, I never finished a mile around the track at my college while spectators stood by, and I certainly haven’t cleared a high jump bar beyond high school. But that doesn’t mean I didn’t take the journey towards college sports.

As a two-sport high school athlete who didn’t play college level sports, you may be wondering why I am writing on this subject. Here at SportsForce we are dedicated to assisting student-athletes reach their potential and a big part for those that want to pursue sports after high school is finding the right college fit for you.pool

At seventeen, deciding what you want to major in through college is terrifying, factor in where you want to live, laying out your schedule and deciding what sports program might be right for you, these decisions can be downright crippling. I went down this path. I swam competitively all my life. I loved it and wanted to keep swimming in college. As a straight A student, I also loved writing, learning and all that good stuff. I needed a school that could nurture me academically and socially, but also offer a swim program that would allow me to maintain my life. I had swam competitively since I was six years old, and couldn’t imagine life without it.

I had looked into many colleges with DII and DIII swim programs. Some were great schools, but I was in love with the University of Rhode Island. As in “Division I athletics” University of Rhode Island.

After much thought I decided I wanted to go to URI, it had the academics, the location and social opportunities I looked for, I would figure out the swimming part later, I thought. At freshman orientation several meetings ran at the same time for students to attend. Varsity athletics and the Honors Program were at conflicting times. Being more terrified of hard schoolwork than a heavy athletic program, I went to the varsity athletics meeting. I sat in on the swimming meeting, spoke with the coach, and though I was still terrified, got excited to swim for URI. I was a little nervous about how doubles sessions and away meets would work with my class schedule, but figured I would find a balance, as many, many athletes do.

Then it came in the mail-a sign up and check request for the winter training session in Florida. I hadn’t even been on campus one day as student and I was already asked to bet away my whole winter vacation. It was a lot for me–too much. I sat there overwhelmed as I read the details. I wanted to swim, but I wanted to experience college and still see my family during break. I was so unsure, but as I sat there on the brink of tears it was clear sports at a D1 school was not for me, but URI still was. The next four years of my life were amazing, I certainly missed swimming, and sometimes wondered if I had made the right decision, but knew there we many paths I could take, and I waned to stay on the one I was on.

Over those four years, I became my own coach, swam on my own, ran some road races, and even a marathon. I enrolled in the honors program my sophomore year and made up what I had missed. Graduating from the honors program from an institution I loved and still having passion for swimming I knew I had made the right choice. But that was my choice. Each journey to that decision is different, and each decision will be different. But make sure that journey and decision exists, because they are yours to take and yours to make. Best of luck with the college planning and preparation process and be sure to follow as we address other important issues to assist your progression from high school to college and beyond.

3 Responses to “The Decision to Play College Sports”
  1. Hwa says:

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  2. Ramon says:

    Wow that was odd. I jist wrote an extremely long comment but after I clicked submit my comment
    didn’t appear. Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again. Regardless, just wanted to say excellent

  3. SportsForce says:

    Sorry about that and thank you, Ramon!

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