SPUSA 20 years

Signed – Now What?

The end of the year is an exciting time for our Year 12 student-athletes. High school graduation marks the close of one journey and brings excitement for the start of another. With the early signing period beginning in November, many students find themselves signing their scholarships and deciding on where they will attend college. While this is certainly a time for celebration, it is also important to hit the ground running in the new year so that you are as prepared as possible when it comes time to arrive in the USA. The work does not stop when you commit to a college – it is only just getting started. Here are some helpful tips to maximise your time between high school and college to ensure you are ready for the USA:

  1. Compete, compete, compete!

It is a mistake to assume that because you have secured your scholarship you no longer need to compete and demonstrate results. Rather, it is important to gain as much high-level competitive experience and to keep developing in your sport. If you are not competition-ready when you arrive in the USA, it is possible that you will find yourself starting your college journey on the bench/sidelines.

  1. Focus on your fitness

One of the biggest adjustments many student-athletes face in their first semester of college is getting used to the intensity of gym and physical fitness training. It is likely that you will be expected to attend team gym/strength & conditioning sessions every other day, depending on where you are at in your season. If strength training is not something you have prioritised in the past, now is a good time to focus time and energy on your physical development.

  1. Develop a schedule

The first few months out of high school can be especially challenging without the structure and routine that you are used to. Many of your friends and teammates who are not on the US college pathway will have commenced their university studies or have started full-time jobs. Life may feel extra slow for a while, and it will require you to be more self-disciplined than ever when it comes to your sport. To help navigate this time, we recommend developing a weekly schedule, which will promote a healthy and balanced routine. 

  1. Get a part-time job

The roughly nine months between high school and college is a great time to earn and save money. Many of our student-athletes use this time to work part-time jobs so that they have some extra spending money when they arrive in the US. While essential expenses such as tuition, fees, accommodation and food are covered by scholarship, having some additional pocket money to put towards off-campus social activities with friends and teammates is always helpful.

Important takeaway: Preparation is key! When you arrive at college, will you be ready?

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An Aussie's Transformative
US College Journey

By Study & Play Director, Chris Bates