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Student-athletes, choose wisely

Choosing what direction to go to after high school is the biggest decision that a teenager can make.

Whether the adolescent decides to serve the country, pursue a secondary education, chase a lifelong dream or take some time to think about what direction they want to go in life, a new chapter begins.

For many athletes who have the opportunity to pursue a college education through an athletic scholarship, the choice of where they continue their studies is not only affected but their career is as well.

I was speaking to an athlete in the area who named two schools who expressed interest in him to continue his playing career. One school he mentioned was in the Sun Belt Conference, which is respectively known as one of the smaller conferences in Division I athletics. The other school he mentioned was in the SEC, which is obviously the biggest football conference in the country. The young man said that he was leaning toward going to the Sun Belt school because he liked their coaching staff, among other perks.

Whatever school the athlete chooses, the mindset of picking the right fit for his life and his career is crucial.

In the age of social media, glamour can take so much priority over pure necessity. A student-athlete might commit to the school with the biggest name that offered them just to impress the people back home as opposed to attending the school that will give them the most playing time or best education.

This reality is true for all students who plan on going to college right after high school. The art of flexing is easy to understand for a 17- or 18-year-old because sometimes teenagers just want to be accepted. Teens want to be accepted by their peers, teachers and parents.

However, in this period of verbal commitments, it’s important that these teenagers find the choice that’s best for them in the long haul.