What exactly are you looking to get out of your college experience?

What do you want out of your college experience?Before making your college decision, you really need to think hard about what you want to get out of your college experience.  When bringing this up, I am not just talking about athletics and academics.  There is so much more to the college experience.  Things like campus life, dorms, male to female ratio, graduation rates, location, and many other things that you need to think about before calling it a day on your future college.

The reason why I think this is so important is because if you want to make as informed of a decision as you can, you need to try and take this all into account.  Obviously if there is one Division I offer on the table and that is the level you want to play at, things may be easier.  But if there are a host of schools showing you interest, then this will make it easier to eventually come to a final decision.

So for the high school athletes out there reading this site, what do you want out of your college experience?  This four to five year journey (Hopefully no more for your undergrad work) is going to be spent at hopefully one place that you grow comfortable with and can eventually call home.

One of the most interesting ways some athletes in the past have found their future college home is by taking athletics completely out of the equation.  They asked themselves would they be happy at this school if I was not playing a sport?  Would I be alright with just the academics and the campus life?

While athletics do play a huge role in that final decision, what happens if you have a heart condition or blow out a knee that will never get better?  If the athletics were the reason why you came to the school, then there may be little else there for you.  Obviously not all athletes will be hit hard by injuries but you just never know.

Part of the college experience that you need to think about is how well athletics are supported.  For example, I went from a high school that was crazy about basketball to a college that most people didn’t even know played hoops.  It was a long process that was not easy but it was something that I was not aware of from the start.  This is another important reason why to come to multiple games for a college.  The coaches will want you to come to their big rivalry game because everyone will be there but the other games may be less packed and show the true nature of the student body and their love for athletics.

Your college experience will also be heavily shaped by the academic opportunities offered there.  If you go into college thinking that you want to major in Engineering and the school does not offer that field, then why are you going there?  If you really want to find something that you love, you need to think hard about potential majors beforehand and know what you are interested in.  I have posted this many times before but for most people, competitive athletics end at the age of 23.  With the retirement age being 65, you need to find a field that you will love for 42 years (Obviously you can go back to school but why waste those four to five years?).

Some important factors regarding those opportunities include internships.  These are an absolute must for most fields that could eventually help you get a job following college.  If a school is in a big city, then there will be a great deal of opportunities.  However, colleges in small towns near big cities can also help with that.  But the schools without much around them, think hard about what they have to offer afterwards.

Again, the most important thing is what you want to get out of the college experience.  It is not an easy process but thinking about it early can help you down the road.

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