College Life in the USA
University, known more commonly as ‘College’ in the USA, is a fundamental part of American culture. There is so much to learn about and take on board! Here, we’ll take you through some of the key components that make up daily life at a US college.
Going to college in the United States differs significantly from university life in the UK, especially if you’re a student-athlete!
Most notable differences include the degree course structure, a multi-billion dollar college sports industry, a proud, tight-knit community on each and every campus where individuals can excel in the classroom and on the sports field.
WHERE WOULD I LIVE?
At college in the US you will be provided with accommodation, which will be on campus in dormitories in your first year. As you move through the years, you may get the chance to be in an apartment with friends off campus if preferred, however there will always be options on campus. You will share accommodation with another student and 99% of the time this will be one of your teammates. As you speak with coaches in the recruitment process, they will help to explain the living situation at their respective college in more detail.
It’s worth noting that a US college can consist of anywhere between 1,000 – 65,000 students! You can just imagine how big some college campuses need to be…. Some are so huge that the campus is like a small town itself, whereas smaller campuses can feel more of a close, family community. The size of campus you would prefer is something to consider!
WHERE WOULD I EAT?
There will be at least one main cafeteria/canteen on campus, often there will be multiple places to choose from when it comes to food time. As a student, you will be on a meal-plan with a card that enables you to get your three meals per day – plus a few snacks of course!
HOW MUCH TIME WOULD I SPEND IN CLASS?
Class attendance is incredibly important in the US college education system. You will have a class schedule mapped out by an academic adviser who will help guide you along. As a student-athlete, your coaches will emphasise the importance of going to classes and maintaining good grades. Remember, you will be a student-athlete (student comes first!) Most students will have between 2 – 4 hours of classes per day, with some more time spent on homework/assignments in the evenings.
US College sport is a gigantic industry. Games are broadcasted on national television and widely followed. The athletes and teams are a focal point on campus, and large crowds will gather to watch them take on conference rivals. In the bigger US sports such as American Football and Basketball, stadium crowds can exceed 100,000 people – many of whom will be college students or former students who are fanatic about their school’s teams. As a student-athlete, you represent your college and compete with pride as your classmates and local community cheer you on. In addition, the colleges themselves take pride in their teams doing well, meaning that the academic administration will cooperate with the athletics department to help maximise your potential in both aspects.
FACILITIES AND SUPPORT
College sports facilities are outstanding and on par to many professional level complexes around the world.
For instance, while there will be one or two gyms on campus for regular students at the school, student-athletes will often have access to their own fully equipped state-of-the-art gym. You will also get training, support and guidance from Strength and Conditioning coaches, Nutritionists, Doctors, Academic Advisers and Athletic Trainers (Physiotherapists) in addition to your full time coaching staff in charge of your team. These dedicated people are there exclusively to help you develop and reach your highest potential.