Having just returned from my first recruiting trip, I figured I’d use my experience to help out a few fellow swimmers. If you’re having trouble packing, here’s your checklist:
1. Bathing Suit, Cap and Goggles
It would probably be in your best interest to get into the pool (if possible) at least once during your trip. Not only does it minimize missed practice time, but showing the coach you’re serious about your training can be a huge plus. (Keep in mind- if any coaches are around while you’re swimming, it is considered an on-campus evaluation, which is a violation of Division I NCAA rules.)
2. The Typical Overnight Stuff
This probably goes without saying, but don’t forget the basics: toothbrush, toothpaste, pajamas, hair products, makeup, phone charger, etc.
Odds are, you’ll be pretty busy during your trip. It can be difficult to think about high school while you’re spending time at college, but remind yourself that you’re not quite there yet. If you get a spare half hour or so, sit down and get some homework done. When you return back to reality, being behind in your classes can be frustrating. Remember your high school performance directly effects the admissions process.
4. Team Gear
If you have any apparel from the college you’re visiting, pack it! Nothing shows interest like rooting for the team, especially if you get the opportunity to attend a football game or other sporting event on campus.
During official recruit visits, your stay and meals are paid for. However, it is so much fun to visit the bookstore and buy yourself some college clothes! (Be sure to check out the sale rack. I bought myself an adorable quarter zip from the school I was looking at last week–only $10!)
6. Sleeping Bag & Pillow
You may be wondering where you’re going to sleep during your stay, and I’m about to confirm your biggest fear. Yes, you sleep in the dorms. Don’t worry, though. They’re not as cramped as you might think. I’d recommend bringing a sleeping bag and pillow so you can make the floor as comfortable as possible.
7. An Open Mind
Whether the school you’re visiting is your top school or a safety, you were invited for a reason. Not many people have the opportunity to participate in varsity collegiate sports, so make the most of the experience. Relax and imagine yourself as a student there. You never know, you just might fall in love.