8 Pros and Cons of Playing Sports in College
Whether you're just starting in your high school's JV team, or you've already received a scholarship offer from a university, it's important to know ahead of time what the pros and cons of playing college sports really are, so let's dive in.
Pro: Financial Aid
This is one of the most obvious ones; a major incentive for aiming for/accepting a position on a college team is knowing that you'll have your schooling paid for. Nobody wants to turn their nose up at free money.
Con: Financial Aid isn't Always Enough
One thing you might not have been told about college athlete scholarships is that they're not all full-ride. In fact, a large majority of them only cover part of your expenses (some only cover your books!). So if you've been relying on the financial aid that you think will be a sure thing due to your un-matched prowess, make sure you're applying for other scholarships as well as filling out your FAFSA, just in case.
Pro: Free Tutoring
Yes, usually if you're helping your school win the big games, they're helping you score the big grades. Free tutoring is an awesome bonus, and can make a huge difference in your GPA, helping you stay off the bench, and laying a solid foundation for your academic and/or professional future!
Con: Not A Lot of Study Time
Between classes, practice, conditioning, travelling for games, and trying to get enough sleep, cramming in more than just a few minutes for studying can feel impossible. Making the most of the little free time you have is imperative.
One of the bonuses of being on a team is pretty obvious: teammates. The bond formed from grueling exertion and adrenaline packed games is par none! You'll have an intensely loyal group of friends through your school years, and none of them will question you if you choose a nap over a party.
Con: Literally No Social Life
If you thought being a cool college athlete meant being invited to every party, you were right. What you didn't realize was that you can't go. Or rather... you could. But you won’t have time to, and when you do have time, you'll probably be too tired or too behind on schoolwork to even consider it.
Pro: Staying Fit
You've heard of the freshman 15, but luckily for you, it doesn't exist. And if it does, it's magically transformed into the "Freshman 15lbs of Muscle." Even if you eat a lot of junk food (you'll regret that during conditioning), you'll be exercising so often your body will hardly notice.
Con: Increased Risk of Injury
Of course, no one consistently participating in a team sport is blind to this one. Between practice and games you're at risk daily for everything from minor sprains to broken bones to concussions. Not only would those things affect your athleticism, they could also have a negative effect on your academics.
While this list is by no means extensive, it details the dilemma that all student athletes have faced: do the pros outweigh the cons? The answer is different for everyone, so take your time to decide. And for those of you who are already in the athletic trenches, let us know: what was your journey like? We'd love to hear from you!