As almost everyone on this site knows skiing and school can sometimes compete with one another. The simple answer for most is that skiing will win in one way or another. For anyone trying to make a choice about which school to attend, skiing is really something to consider. As someone who has made this decision in the past, I hope that I can offer some insight to those that are now faced with what really is a difficult decision. The way I see it, the best way to make this decision is to critically evaluate what it is you really want your freshman year of college, and what a freshman year of college really means. To answer these questions, you really have to sit down and think philosophically. If you don't do this, you are liable to make a poor decision.
As for me I decided that I wanted the opportunity become the best skier I could become, an education I could afford and friends/parties. Having all of these options available seemed to be almost impossible. To be able to ski all the time I would have had to go to a college out west, which would have made college unaffordable. This meant the only way that I could afford college was to stay instate and miss an opportunity to really ski they way I wanted. You only have good knees for a few years; and so I was faced with the dilemma that many young people on this sight are faced with today. I searched long and hard for a solution to my problem, and as I tell you my story you should know that that there is a way to have it all and more. There is a better solution to finding the best first year in college.
Let me first start by saying that with few exceptions Freshman year in college doesn't mean shit academically. In fact, I dare say academically it is almost a waste of money. The amount of long term practical education you receive is limited, and that which you actually might use later on is erased by hang-overs. However, Freshman year is necessary because you must fulfill general education requirements in order to obtain a college degree. What I decided to do for my freshman year was to take online courses from a local community college near my house and move to Vail, CO. I researched the basic curriculum requirements for my major and proceeded to fulfill those requirements while living in employee housing. The benefits of this strategy exceeded my wildest expectations:
1) Employee housing - Cheap, Fun, Drugs, Booze, girls- some of the best friends you will ever make. This is one of the best experiences you will ever have.
2) Freedom and independence- If you are straight out of high school, there is no better feeling than going on your own. Not only do you learn to make it on your own, but you learn the workings of the world in a chill place, something no college can offer.
3) Job- When I was working for Vail I worked as a snow maker and a cat-driver. I had more fun and met more cool people than most people do in a lifetime. Not to mention I was able to pay for rent ($300 a month), live comfortably and PAY FOR COLLEGE.
4) Skiing- Living in summit county is like being on a permanent vacation, and when you meet people to enjoy it with it simply doesn't get any better. You learn your abilities as a skier can never stop being developed, and you simply fall in love with skiing all over again.
5) Finals - When it come time to take finals I just went to the local library and arranged for the librarian to proctor my test.
6) Fast - I have never been more challenged in my life, Budgeting time between work school and skiing is hard but it is sooooo worth it and totally rewarding.
7) Accomplishment - Back to my philosophical aproach; after two semesters of online courses I accumulated 36 credits, skied 130 days in one summit county season, was in the best physical shape of my life, had more friends than ever, enjoyed my job, had paid for my education on my own and had done really what I had set out to do; Establish residency in colorado. My permanent address being in Vail. I had paystubs a colorado drivers licence and a year of living high. By addmissions standards I was then able to qualify for INSTATE tuition at any university withing the state, I made sure all of my classes transfered to University of Colorado. I had established a network of people in summit county and was then in a position to GO TO COLLEGE OUT WEST AFFORDABLY AND GRADUTATE IN FOUR YEARS.
Unfortunately today circumstance has brought me back to the east coast to go to school. I am still happy with the decision I made, and I hope that this might be something you might consider when thinking about college in the future.