Emily Casale, a senior advertising major from Tampa, Florida shares some tips to help fellow out-of-state student athletes prepare for college.
1. Prepare for emotional and physical discomfort:
- At some point during your college experience you will feel homesick and that is totally normal. The best piece of advice I can give is to get involved and reach out to people if you need help. It’s important to understand that nobody knows you’re struggling unless you tell them. With being on a team you have a big group of people you can lean on for support and it’s almost like automatic friends. However, I do recommend being open minded to meeting new people outside athletics as well. Saying yes to new things can be exciting and you never know what you might discover by doing so.
- Being in a new environment can also be scary because you don’t know where anything is. Feel free to explore and ask people! The reason I came to Rowan was not only to play soccer but to be close to family. I am extremely fortunate that I have them here if I need anything at all. But that’s just my situation. You might be going to a school just for athletics and might not know anyone at all and that’s okay. Know that in college, everyone is going through the same thing.
- Culture shock is also a real thing. But don’t get discouraged; embrace that people grew up different from you and learn to adapt to the area around you.
- Injuries may happen but you must trust the process. Use your resources like athletic training and rehabilitation.
2. Prepare for new weather:
- Being from Florida, the weather was a big change when I decided to go to school up north. Winters are grueling and you should invest in some warm gear if you plan on going to school somewhere with the four seasons.
- Get adjusted to playing your sport in new weather.
3. Prepare for balancing school and sport:
- Balancing your school assignments and practices can be a lot. Staying ahead of your workload is the most important thing.
- You will be traveling a lot for games. Working on schoolwork during the trip is a good idea to get assignments done and study for upcoming exams.
- Make sure you are scheduling your classes around practice time and what works best for you. Giving yourself enough time to get from class to practice is also a good idea that way you aren’t feeling rushed or stressed out.
4. Prepare for out of state cost:
- Know that when you are going out-of-state you need to consider out-of-state costs, such as traveling home to visit or storage costs for your personal belongings over the summer.
- Out of state students also tend to pay higher tuition than in-state students, but there are ways to close the gap through scholarships through your university or your local community.
- Always be on the lookout for new scholarships and awards you can earn.
- If you plan on playing Division I or Division II you have the opportunity to get money for playing your sport. However, if you are playing Division III they do not have any athletic scholarships. The only way you can gain them is through academic scholarship. That is why excelling in the classroom is so important.
- Take into account the cost of living, groceries, and textbooks.
5. Prepare for opportunities:
- When you go to college out of state you are embarking on such an incredible journey. You learn so much about yourself and you learn to appreciate where you are from. There are many opportunities and experiences that you can make.
- Specifically going to school in New Jersey, there is so much surrounding Rowan. Philly is 30 minutes away and you are also an hour away from the beach and Atlantic City! New York is also not too far away.
- Studying abroad is also another opportunity that most schools offer.
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Written by: Emily Casale, senior advertising major
Story edited by: Valentina Giannattasio, junior dance and marketing double major