Graduated high school just before my 18th birthday. Four years of college football and graduated just before I turned 22 and entered the working world. What a mistake. Most of my friends were still in college and here I was starting my "career". I was too young, too immature, and not ready for a 40+ hour a week grind making decent money but, let's be honest, nothing life changing. I don't think I have a single dollar saved from at least the first 5 years of my working life.
My point is this, I wished I would have been older when I graduated from school. I wish I was more mature and had more perspective on what I wanted to do in life. I should have sta*** in school and gotten an advanced degree. That wasn't as po****r, or necessary, back in the early 90's as it is today.
In the end everything turned out great. Great career, plenty of money, comfortable life, but I sacrificed some of my youth working when I could have being doing things I loved and getting life experience. I wish I could go back because you are only young once and you only get one chance to live those years.
There are advantages in going to college as an older student. You are more mature and have a better idea of what you want. If you've grinded it through Junior hockey you definitely will be better able to manage your time and handle the "rigors" of college when you get there. Also, let's be honest, college is way more fun when you are of legal drinking age.
If you want to play hockey, do it while you are young. Get it out of your system. Your entire working life will be there waiting for you. I have no problem with my kids playing Junior hockey and delaying school as long as I see them maturing and growing as people. Their grandfather spent those years of his life in Vietnam. A couple of years of Junior hockey is not some great setback. Youth is wasted on the young.
That's right, and some might even recapture some of youth they missed while their youth hockey-obsessed parents had running from rink to rink year round since they were six. No doubt they gained some from the experience, but missed a lot.