The Ups and Downs of Picking a School

Choosing the right university to compete at is one of the hardest choices for an athlete who wishes to take their talents to the next level. So many factors are taken into account when making this challenging decision.

Personally, I wanted to attend a small school where I would truly leave my footprint there after I have left. In addition, I wanted to get as much playing time as possible as a freshman. Siena College was a good school and had a decent volleyball program, and getting immediate playing time played a major role in me choosing to go there.

One of the downsides of attending Siena College for two years was the lack of a journalism program. Journalism is the only subject that I want a career in. Unfortunately, I settled for less than what I deserved academically. Sometimes athletes focus so much on the athletic aspect that the school can offer them that we completely forget about the academic component, which in my opinion is more important and will have longer benefits.

The best part about choosing the right school is the official visits. An official visit is when a future prospect student-athlete comes for a weekend to meet the team, the coaches and experience a “day in the life” type of experience. I went on so many official visits. Unfortunately I was not able to do a true official visit with St Johns because my decision to come here was so last minute that school was basically over! I lucked out because now I am in love with this school.

The recruiting process is very stressful for family members. Every parent wants their child to be offered an athletic scholarship that covers their entire tuition. Coaches and programs have budgets; therefore as a result not every member of a team is offered money, which is why it is imperative that athletes maintain their grades so that they can get other means of support from school.

I remember when I finally decided to change my school from Siena to St John’s. When I let everyone know, I was so excited. My fellow athletes can agree with me – social media lets everyone know where and when we are attending our “dream” school. I remember when we took our official roster pictures for the 2011-12 St John’s season, almost all of my teammates posted their pictures on Facebook or Twitter! I am just so glad that I lucked out in finding the right school for me, but I can say that the recruiting process is both exciting and scary.


Brennan Johnson is a junior on the St. John’s volleyball team. She will be writing about her experiences throughout the semester.