Goodbye Summer, Hello Recruiting Season

paigeBy Paige, a Patriot Blogger

Dear recruits,

Thank you for being so much fun this weekend and last weekend. I am very exhausted, but I had a great time.

I hope you decide to join Mason Nation!

Sincerely,

Paige

Recruiting season is here again and in full force! For any high school athletes out there thinking of playing their sport in college, official recruiting trips are the best way to get to know the school and teammates that could be yours in the future. Official visits really allow you to envision yourself as a student at XYZ University because you spend a whole weekend with the students who go there. This is especially important for athletes because team chemistry is not something you can learn about by researching them online or by talking to the coach over the phone. You must experience and witness the dynamics firsthand.

I remember my first recruiting trip I was extremely nervous and changed my outfit at least five times before leaving my house. By the time I took my official visit Mason I was a pro at being a recruit though! Being excused from high school classes on Friday to enjoy a weekend of being a college student was so much fun. I enjoyed a weekend of touring the campus, tie-dying t-shirts, watching a home swim meet against Delaware, and playing laser tag! Going back to high school that Monday felt so strange then because I was so ready for the college experience.

Now on the other side of recruiting, I get to see just how much planning goes into hosting a group of athletes for a whole weekend. Though it takes a great deal of coordination, it is always an action-packed weekend of hanging out with all of my teammates.  Team bonding at its finest.

This recruiting season (the past two weekends) has been filled with all sorts of team adventures from attending Wingstock ’13 at the men’s soccer game; cheering on the women’s soccer team; taking over Southside for after-practice brunch, running around playing laser tag at Shadowland; having an outdoor pool party complete with volleyball, cornhole and a fire juggling show from one of our senior boys; eating Fro Yo from Josie’s across the street from campus; shopping at Fair Oaks Mall; and ice skating!

Ice skating with the team and recruits

Ice skating with the team and recruits

Touring the recruits around the university is the best part though because I actually get to enjoy all of the beauty of campus without having to worry about being late for class.  It is also a great time to really get to know each of the recruits on a more personal level and discuss what may interest them most about attending Mason.

Touring the recruits around campus

Touring the recruits around campus

These weekends have left me bruised (from ice skating) and wounded (from crashing into one of my teammates at Shadowland), and blistered (from touring the campus for 2+ hours), but I also feel closer to my teammates.  And as busy as these weekends are, it is always good to get an outsider’s perspective looking in on our team and our school. It really makes me appreciate being a part of such an exceptional university and close-knit group of student-athletes.