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This is an important topic. It is not easy handle both school and a D1 sport. It is even tougher to handle a D1 sport at a good school with a rigorous major. Either way, the kid gives up much of the "college experience" because so much of their time is spent on their sport.
It really depends on what you value, and you should ensure that your kid goes into with with both eyes open after a serious analysis of what it involves, and what he might be giving up.
I hate the term "College Experience".
Being lucky enough to play their favorite sport at the D1 level, and attending for free, is the "college experience" that 99.9% of others dream of.
Not many get a free ride. . . unless the kid's youth hockey has completely bankrupted the family.
"It takes incredible dedication to do this AND survive a rigorous major."
Sounds like the kid is missing his 'college experience' mentioned previously!
I had a girl play D1 hockey for an Ivy and she was an engineering major. I have to hand it to her. Schedule was 5:30 AM to 11:00PM just about every day. Throw in the travel and missing school and she had her hands full. There was zero time for any of the normal college social scene. Choices you have to make.
That's a good example of a different "college experience", and a good example. Proof there is no one "college experience", it's what you make it and different for everyone.
Everyone complains but in most situations there is plenty of free time in college. Its how you spend that free time that defines your "college experience".
Unfortunately when many talk about not playing a sport so their kid can have the "college experience" they are actually saying they want their kid to spend that free time on the social scene, frat parties, drinking until you're sick, and experimenting with drugs and sex instead of at the library, gym and rink. Good luck with that.