Things to Consider When Picking a College

The time has finally come! Your high school years are coming to an end, and now it’s time to choose where you want to go to college at. As well as making the decision on becoming a member of the swim team.  There are several things to consider when deciding on the perfect school for you!

  • Academics

Academics is why you are going to college.  You are a student before you are an athlete.  You want to choose a school that offers your major. Quality of academics is very important and you want to choose a school that has a high success rate.

  • Location

When choosing a school,  you want to make sure you are comfortable going far away or not very far away at all.  If you do choose to go far away, take note that you probably won’t be able to come home for a quick weekend due to your swim schedule.  If you do choose to stay close to home, you may be able to drive home on the weekends when you are free.  But you may also not like being that close to home.  When picking a college it’s really important to do what is best for yourself.   You also want to consider weather.  If you don’t like freezing cold weather, you are probably best to go down south and vice versa.

  • Financial Aid

For most people, cost is definitely a factor when choosing a college.  You want to attend a school where you will receive scholarships whether thats academically or athletically.

  • Campus

Would you prefer a big or small campus? Some people prefer going to a small school because it can be easier to get around.  Others want to go to a big school because it they like the feel better. You want to consider where the campus is surrounded by.  It is in the middle of no where with only a Wal-Mart around? Or is it surrounded by a ton of things to do?

What to consider when choosing a team

As a senior in high school, you will start getting phone calls from coaches as well as invites for recruiting trips.  When getting a feel for the team that you could very well spend the next four years on, you want to consider some important things.

  • Team Dynamics

A team works together.  You want to choose a team based on how well they work together and how they act around each other. It’s very important that you feel like you’re apart of the family. College is a difficult transition whether you’re an athlete or not, and you need to know that they’ll be there for you even if you aren’t a star.

  • Coaching

Having a coach that you get along with and liking their coaching style is very important.  It is important that you and your coach are on the same page because they will be your coach for the next four seasons.

  • Team Atmosphere

When going on a recruiting trip you want to get a good vibe from the team.  You want to automatically feel like you are a member of the team. It is important to find a team that has a positive and happy attitude.  When going on your recruiting trips you should feel welcomed.


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3 years ago

Make sure to ask the slower swimmers on the team what the coach treats them like. You don’t want a coach who will ignore you at the first sign of a slump. Good coaches appreciate fast swimmers but also try to make all their swimmers fast.

3 years ago

I am reposting my college picking algorithm:

IF Can Score at Div 1 Champs THEN pick Div 1
ELSE IF Solid Grades AND Solid Swimmer THEN Pick Div 2
ELSE IF Great Grades AND Solid Swimmer THEN Pick Div 3

3 years ago

In addition to the list above, some people might want to pick a team that they can win a national champion with. Some people might want to be the game changer for the program and choose to go there, even though knowing for sure that they won’t win a national championship. Some people choose to go because of their friends, parents used to go there, etc.

No matter what the reasons for choosing the colleges are, you should make the most out of it and can’t blame anyone else for your decision. If it turns out not as what you expect, then you can always change and transfer to another school.

About Olivia McLain

Olivia McLain

My name is Olivia McLain and I was born and raised in Kansas City, Missouri.  I am currently a junior at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, where I am also on the UNO Women's Swim Team. I specialize in the 100 butterfly, 100 freestyle, and now that its allowed …

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