It seems as if during the athletic recruiting process, there are athletes in two different camps. The first one is the players that want to stay close to home and be surrounded by friends and family. The location allows those close to the athlete to see them frequently as well as come to games easily.
The other type of athlete is the one who says during the recruiting process that they want to get away from home. They may want to see another part of the country and that will give them the opportunity to travel so that they can see something new. And while most athletes are thinking either one of these ways, location should be a much bigger factor than most realize.
A major disadvantage to going far away from home is how difficult it will be for you to get home for holidays. If you play a winter sport or your football team makes a bowl, it is going to be extremely difficult and chances are high that you won’t be spending Christmas at home. That is part of being a college athlete and something that should be considered.
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If you live on the East coast and go to college on the West coast, flights are not cheap to go back and fourth. The importance of being close to home and being able to come and see your little brother play a high school game may be something you want to do. Your parents will also get a chance to see you as well.
One down side of being close to home is that you will likely be around most of your friends from high school. While I can’t say all of them will be there but if you go to State University, many will be there as well. While you may not hang around them with your new set of friends on the football team, that may be something to keep in the back of your mind.
Athletes don’t think about this much but for the most part, most play their sport for four or five years and then enter into the real world where they are working everyday. Since this happens to 99% of college athletes, you need to look long and hard into your options after college finishes up.
If you want to go into Physical Therapy, does the school you are going to offer PT school after you finish your undergraduate degree? And what about internships in the Business world? If you are going to major in Business, you need to see what kind of options can help you get a solid job to start your career after college. Does former alums of the school help athletes get jobs after? As a 17 or 18-year old, these are not exactly burning questions but they need to be answered.
Another thing to factor in when thinking about location is your future job. Say you decide to leave home and go somewhere that is ten hours away. If you do internships and eventually set yourself with a job after college, are you going to be happy that far away from home? Really this depends a great deal on your field of study. Some degrees offer a ton of jobs (Business) while others are location specific.
It may not be easy to really grasp what location means but it is definitely much more than just one hour away from home versus five hours. There are a lot of aspects that you need to think about when coming to a decision based on location and how much it factors into your final decision.