Approaching the final months of high school it becomes apparent that the end of your athletic career may be fast approaching and the sport that you’ve put in so much time and effort to may be seeing its competitive conclusion. Up until my meeting with Chris Bates at Study & Play USA this was a situation I found myself in and had accepted the traditional path of university was my next course of action.
A few gruelling SAT tests and visa appointments later though, it was wheels down in New York City and the nerve-racking dive into the deep end of a completely new country and college- all the while only knowing a few members of my new team through roster pictures. Any shred of doubt that I’d had about leaving the safety of home though was blown away in my first week of college. I found right from the get go, Americans are extremely friendly and genuinely welcoming- no matter where it was that I was in the country. While I ran nationally at high school I quickly realized the step up to college athletics was significantly more than I had expected. My first weeks of track were a big wake-up call with twice daily practices, double the miles per week and some serious competition even within my own team! Coupled with classes and the great college atmosphere that entails on weekends, I quickly forgot the thousands of miles from home that I was and knew I had without a doubt made the right decision to come to the States.
Four years go by so quickly but the collection of experiences that I had through my college life were nothing short of amazing. From running in front of a 50,000 strong crowd at Penn relays to interning in a Manhattan investment bank, the college experience goes above and beyond what I could have ever expected.
The level at which college sports are played to and established in the whole college ethos is really something that has to be experienced. The levels of competition allow you to really push yourself beyond what you previously would have held yourself to and the near professional attitude that colleges have to your performance supports you all the way.
Through my sport I was able to make some of my best mates and basically have an away from home family that would always be there for support and Thanksgiving dinners! Being away from home builds you as a person and from learning the hard way, organizational skills and personal finance skills are quickly improved! The connections I made through my time at Wagner College meant that I was able to come back to the States on a skilled visa and I now work at PricewaterhouseCoopers accounting and alongside some of my friends from Wagner as well.
For anyone considering a student athlete experience in the States, I would without a doubt recommend it and from my own time here, can say it is nothing short of the best four years I’ve ever had!
Guest Blogger – Darius Moulton, Graduate of Wagner College, New York