Making a decision on where you will be going to college is one of the hardest things to do for a 17 year old or 18 year old kid. The pressure that they feel in their senior year of high school is huge as they feel that the rest of their lives depend on this decision they are about to make. As my mother-in-law once told me, there is nothing perfect in this world— not the perfect job, not the perfect house, and certainly not the perfect college.
Most likely you will find one school that you fall in love with but even then the situation won’t be perfect. It may be too far from home or they may not give you enough financial aid money. Nonetheless, it will be your number one choice for whatever reason and that is great! At that point, you will be faced with your next big challenge— telling the other colleges that have been recruiting you that you chose another school.
This is something that you want to be sure to do even though it is a hard thing to do. Here are the reasons why:
First, for your own sake you will be able to sleep better at night knowing that you are committed to the school you chose and everyone knows it. Plus, the other coaches recruiting you will stop contacting you because they know you are committed elsewhere. (As a side note, some college coaches may get a little upset/angry because we are competitive people and we don’t like to “lose” to other schools with regard to recruits, but it is only temporary.)
Second, it is respectful to the college coaches who have been working with you. We spend a lot of time and effort recruiting players. If I know that you have made a decision, then I can focus my energies elsewhere on other student-athletes.
Lastly, you don’t want to burn bridges. As I said, there is no such thing as a perfect college and once you get to the school you chose, you may find that it is not where you want to be (it is too far from home, you are not getting along with the coach/team, classes are not what you thought, etc.). You may want to transfer. If you decide to transfer, you will be likely going back and looking at the second or third choices that you had on your list. So you will be going back to those coaches (with a bit of humility) and asking them about transferring. If you kept a good relationship with them, you should be fine. If not, they might not be interested in you anymore.
The bottom line is this— choosing a college is a tough choice, telling the coaches that have been recruiting you that you picked a different college can be an even tougher thing to do but one that needs to be done. In the long run, it will serve you well.
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