Hello, so going into the spring racing season, I knew that I wanted to improve as much as possible etc etc (coming off an unsuccessful fall) but then I also knew that there are things that I need to do as a junior (such as college touring). There’s a fair sized regatta at the end of my April break, but that’s also the only time I’ll have until August to college tour. Also what if I get asked by college coaches why I’m not racing? I know this is mostly my decision, but could you help me out?
Ooh, that’s tough. Between crew, marching band, SATs/ACTs, and all the other stuff I had going on, I didn’t have time to start going on college visits until the late fall (read: November) of my senior year. I had already narrowed down the schools I wanted to visit to three so that made it easier but I didn’t go visit any of them until pretty late in the game. I would have liked to have started the process earlier but I don’t think it hurt in any way going when I did. If you end up having to wait until August I honestly don’t think you’ll be too far behind the curve as long as you’re not trying to look at like, eight or nine schools. There were several kids that came in the fall to look at Cornell who were in similar positions as you so if you end up having to wait til then I wouldn’t stress about it – there are plenty of other people doing the same thing.
If you decide to go at the end of April then it can easily be explained to any coaches that ask that this was the only available opportunity that you had to look at colleges until August and looking ahead to the fall you didn’t want to try to juggle the start of your senior year, getting back into the swing of training, filling out applications, etc. with trying to travel all over the country to look at schools. As long as the regatta you’d be missing isn’t a championship of some kind, I don’t think they’d look that closely at it. You have to weigh the pros/cons though and decide if this is a race that you can afford to miss. Obviously that’s something only you and your coach would know but it does require some thought and consideration.
Ultimately you should do whatever you think will make the whole process as smooth and stress-free as possible for you. Don’t try to balance traveling to visit schools with a million other things because you’ll just end up overwhelmed and distracted, which will take your focus off of why you’re really there.