Being what one would consider a competitive individual and having been involved in sports my entire life, I knew when I entered high school, every practice and competition would in some shape or form affect my future. It had always been a dream of mine to be a collegiate athlete, and ever since I was younger, being an avid soccer player, and admiring the success stories of accomplished athletes, I had hoped to play soccer in college. I was very involved with my club organization in Maryland and played for my high school team in D.C which competed in the fall. When the spring season of my freshman year approached, I had to make a decision about what sport to play. The majority of my friends were trying out for lacrosse, and my desire to spend an extra few hours with them after school ultimately influenced me to try out as well despite the fact that it was something entirely new to me.
My fondness for the sport of lacrosse grew following my freshman year, as did my commitment. As my level of seriousness increased, my drive for soccer lessened. I chose to focus my attention on lacrosse, and therefore joined a club team whose main purpose was to get their players recruited to play in college. This team opened my eyes to the world of lacrosse, and made me increasingly excited about the opportunities I was about to experience.
The college recruiting process is a difficult one, and something that is easy to get wrapped up in. As a junior in high school I received a lot of attention from college programs, and at first found myself completely overwhelmed. I knew I had to set some standards as to what was important to me in a university. First and foremost, I wanted to go to a school where I could develop not only athletically, but academically. The social scene was an important factor as well, as was location. I knew I wanted to go south, and take advantage of the warm weather and southern hospitality that that particular culture possesses.
After narrowing down my options based on the above classifications, I ended up accepting 5 official visits. I traveled to Georgetown University, University of Richmond, University of Virginia, James Madison University and Vanderbilt University my junior year of high school. Each of the first four schools I visited had specific qualities that I could relate to and that I really admired. I found myself in an unfamiliar state of mind one of utter confusion. I knew I would be happy at any of the schools I visited, and did not know how to differentiate between them. At first I was apprehensive about adding another school to the mix, however figured I should finish the process out and take my last official visit to Vanderbilt. The minute I stepped on the campus in Nashville, Tennessee everything felt right. I not only loved the team and the coaching staff, but I felt that Vanderbilt was a school where I would enjoy myself outside of lacrosse. I was right and I really enjoyed my experience at Vanderbilt.
You never know what can happen from an athletic stand point injuries ail individuals and programs deteriorate. You have to make sure the school itself is a right fit for your personality, rather than completely base your decision on whether or not you like the team and coaches.