The experience of committing to college as a junior

Madison Hoffmann (pictured right) in front of the UNCG soccer stadium. Hoffmann committed to UNCG in December of 2014.

When the question “Will you commit to our team?” came out of the speakers on my cell phone, it felt like a thousand pounds had been lifted from my shoulders. I was now committed to playing soccer for four years at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro– all the stress of getting into college was officially done December of junior year.

I started playing soccer at age four, and I knew Division I college soccer was something I wanted to strive for since fifth grade. Getting the chance to go to a school I love on a scholarship didn’t even seem like reality.

The whole situation sounds like a walk in the park, but the process of recruiting is just as stressful as normal college applications but in a different way. Instead of having to write several essays and wait for a response, I was constantly sending emails to schools every week, meeting coaches and having the pressure to play well at every game. I was just as stressed my junior year as most of the seniors are now, but I went through the process earlier– It’s just a big trade off.

UNCG’s assistant coach contacted me after seeing me play at a home game last September. The coaching staff passed on to my head coach that they were interested in me and a visit was set up shortly after. On the visit, I spent time exploring different parts of campus, and I performed the pregame routine with the team to create the feeling of what it would be like to go to the school. After the initial visit, the head coach and assistants came to a few more of my games, and I visited the school again, confirming that this was the place I wanted to spend my future.

Then in December, the call sealed it all.

The most bizarre part of this whole committing experience was that UNCG wasn’t on my radar at all. My sister currently attends school at UNCG, so early on I crossed it off my list. When the school contacted me, I decided to check it out, and I fell in love with it. I never believed in the saying that you will be able to feel what college is right for you after visiting, until I stepped on Greensboro’s campus.

Committing early has been a big stress reliever. Knowing my future plans has allowed me to take the classes I have always wanted such as Forensics Science and World Religions. I can now enjoy classes instead of worrying about making A’s in them. My senior year has been relatively laid back while many of my friends are taking challenging courses to get a final boost to their GPAs. If a student gets the opportunity to commit to a school early, I would highly suggest it. Senior year is supposed to be the best year of high school, and now that I’m not scrambling to figure out my future, I can experience that feeling.
Even though it’s nice to be confident in the future, the biggest thing I wish I could join in on is receiving decision letters in the mail. It is great seeing everyone anticipating acceptances and the joy that comes with opening a letter that says yes. I still had to apply to UNCG like any other student, but it wasn’t the same feeling because I knew I was already going there.

My acceptance to the school was known a little earlier than most, but I will finish the year out with my class in a completely routine fashion. No matter when you decide what your future will comprise of, the most important part at this moment is completing that walk across the stage.


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