Was this worth it?


James Vieth

Kyler Vieth playing goalie at his high school hockey game.

You’re driving home in the pitch black. You look down at the clock on your car radio and it just hit 10 o’clock. You’ve already been driving for over half an hour and the 4 hours of sleep you got last night is starting to catch up. Practice was hard, as the coach made you condition for the whole two hours. The only thing on your mind is getting home and going to bed.

   It hits you, you can’t. You have homework for three classes, a test review in another, and a quiz you’ve got to prepare for. Rage starts to fill your body as you think to yourself, “Is this worth it?” Y You have a passion for your sport and desire to play in college one day, but school and work feel like that dream is thinning as time goes on. Then, that thought persists, “is this all worth it?”

   Transitioning into the school year is never easy. It always takes a while to turn your laid back summer routine back to your busy school schedule. As a high school student, you start to realize that during the school year you are balancing more things in a normal week. 

   Travel sports is something that can combine the amount of time sports already take with more time you lost. Your weekends, your only freetime from school, turns into you being across the state for 48 hours, and coming back on a Sunday night where you just want to rest your face into a soft pillow as you drift into tomorrow morning. It’s a commitment you make the day you go to tryouts. But there’s something divergent about going to a game 20 minutes away, compared to having your whole weekend booked for your sport 3 hours away.

   From experience,  Zeeland East Sr. Kolton Aldrich, who plays travel baseball during the school year said, “It was a dreadful feeling when you came home on Sunday night knowing you have a bunch of homework and realizing you have a busy week ahead of you. You come back from a long weekend just to go right back to practice the next day,” Along with travel sports in the school year being a heavy commitment, it also can bring anxiety and cause you to overthink. “Some nights I would stay awake for I don’t know how long thinking about how I didn’t do my homework because I am so tired from Hockey and training,” says Sr. Kyler Vieth. ”It was to the point where I was choosing sleep, or grades., Vieth was struggling with keeping his grades up because he didn’t have the energy to finish all the work he was given to do late in the night.

   The thought “is it worth it,” is something that might go through the head of a high schooler who is balancing their life with travel sports. But what about the thought “was it worth it?” when out of highschool?

   “I do not regret that at all,” says Jr. in college Jonathan Escobar. “Even though it was hard on me during high school, it taught me a lot on how to manage my time, and I feel as it ultimately helped my transition into college a lot easier.” While many students have a hard time transitioning into College after highschool, Escobar found it easier because of how busy he was. Being at college feels like the same amount of work, just at a different location.

   “I would say that I don’t regret it and that it’s worth it,” Soph. in college Paul Leasure said. “Sure it annoyed me at the time, but now I have pictures and memories that I still look at. I would almost recommend doing as much as you can because of how happy it makes you looking back.”

   While some graduates agree that playing travel sports during the school year is worth it, others have something else to say.

   “I wish I didn’t go through all of that stress” says Sr. in College Olivia Teague. “All my time was gone and to get good grades I had to stay home everyday. My advice would be to enjoy your time with the people around you now because that’s what I wish I would’ve done.” Due to being busy all the time, Olivia was not able to do some of the fun things that she wanted to do with her free time.

   “I honestly was not super social in high school, and I wish I went to more school events,” Sr. in college Royce Young said. “I had a few friends in school but I never felt like a lot of people really knew who I was and I blame that on being so busy.”

   On one hand, some college students say it was worth the stress and anxiety they endured in high school and helped their transition into college. On the other side of things, other college students say it was not worth it because they feel like they wasted their young days in high school and felt like they got nothing exciting out of it.

   At the end of the day, playing travel sports during the school year is a balance of time. It can make you stressed out, anxious, and make you feel like you don’t want to play anymore. It truly is the test of patience, organization, and time management. Playing a travel sport during the school year is a possible thing to do and many people do it. It can all be achieved if you put your mind to it and are driven by passion to play your sport, and think about the memories it will make.