Written by DeAnna Britton, Relate Contributing Writer
One of the big questions I had to ask myself when I went to college was whether I wanted to play sports or not. I had played field hockey for five years and was captain my senior year. Field hockey was a big part of my life and I had really grown as a person because of it.
I didn’t really base my college choice on sports, though, and because I had fallen in love with Hofstra, I didn’t check out what division they were in. After I had been accepted, I looked into it and found that they were division I. Division I sports are the most competitive and often take up most of your free time. I talked to my coach and she said I was good enough to play division I field hockey. Honestly, playing in college was something I never thought about. I wanted a fresh slate, somewhere I wouldn’t be defined as a jock. I also wasn’t sure if I wanted to sacrifice all of my free time.
When I got here my freshman year though, I realized that I missed playing a lot. I decided to start a field hockey club so that I would still be able to play, but it would be more laid back and fun. This endeavor of mine, however, fell through because I didn’t realize how much commitment and time that took, too. I went to a lot of the field hockey games at Hofstra and came to the conclusion that I should have given myself a chanc,e especially because the sport mean so much to me.
One of my best friends, Jess, who was also a captain, decided she was going to play in college and she went to a division III team. Division III is still more competitive than high school but not as competitive as division I or II. Keep this in mind if you are looking into playing sports. I asked her what made her choose to play and she said for the “Love for the sport and I wanted to play at a more competitive level and it’s always a great way to make really good friends.”
There are a lot of things to consider when you’re deciding to play any sport at a college level:
- The first is to check out what division the school is in.
- The second is to make sure you get into contact with the coach of the schools you’re applying to. Depending on the division and how well you play, you can even get a scholarship, sometimes a full ride.
- The third is to make sure you can commit to this sport. Most division I teams practice all year long. During the season, there is an intense schedule that involves practices and games during the week, which will take you away from school to an extent.
- And although playing a sport can interfere with a lot of things, it is also important to consider how much love you have for the game and if you think you could live without playing it.
I do believe I made the right choice in not playing. But that’s just me personally. I miss playing field hockey everyday and I wish I could be on a team. I realized that I wouldn’t have the friends that I do or the experiences I’ve gone through if I had played, though. Playing on a team can provide you with some pretty great friends, but I wanted to get to know everyone, not just my teammates. For some people, all that matters is that they play the sport that they love, form inseparable bonds with their teammates and do great things. It’s all up to the person and what they prefer. Just do what feels right.