By Makena Markert, Swimming World College Intern.
Deciding whether or not to swim collegiately is a big decision. College swimming isn’t for everyone, so how do you know if it’s for you? Ultimately, no one else can make the decision, so you have to ask yourself where your priorities lie for the future.
If any of these five reasons sound appealing to you, then college swimming should be something to consider pursuing!
1. You get a second family.
The move to college can be tough, and leaving a family at home is difficult. However, if you swim in college, you gain a second family who is there to support you in all that you do. Your team is made up of like-minded people who share a common love for the sport of swimming, which ultimately makes assimilation into the college lifestyle especially easy.
2. It teaches valuable life lessons.
Swimming in college will teach you a lot of important life skills; one of which is time management. Time management will definitely be a key to success in college and beyond. Between classes, swim practices, lifts, homework, eating and sleeping, you have a lot to complete in a finite amount of time. You will have to budget time wisely and prioritize activities to get everything that needs to get done, done. This skill is so immensely important that it’s not just a college skill– it’s a life skill.
3. The familiarity of the pool in a new place.
The move to college can be a scary transition for some. You are at a new place, surrounded by new people, and possibly for the first time in your life, you’re away from everything you know best. Once you get to college, a lot of things change almost immediately and this can be overwhelming! However, one thing that doesn’t have to change is the pool. The pool can provide a sense of familiarity in an unfamiliar place.
4. You can avoid the “freshman 15.”
This may seem silly, but the “freshman fifteen” is a real thing. Gaining fifteen pounds may be a bit of an exaggeration, but weight gain is prevalent among college freshmen. What you ate at home on a regular basis may not be an option at the dining hall, increasing the risk of gaining unwanted weight. Why not circumvent this problem by swimming?
There’s no guarantee that swimming will prevent putting on pounds, but if you are continuing to work out like you did at home, and are cautious about your dietary decisions, chances are your weight won’t fluctuate as much as it would if you weren’t in the pool.
5. The opportunity for potential scholarships.
Scholarships are also something to keep in mind when pondering whether or not to pursue swimming in college, but ultimately shouldn’t be the deciding factor. Swimming scholarships are attainable and there are hundreds of college programs from which to choose. Be it Division I, II, or III, there are options, although athletic scholarships are offered only at the NCAA DI, DII, NAIA and junior college levels.