Hi, I’m a freshman in college. I rowed all throughout high school, and I thought that I could handle not rowing in college but I don’t think I can. It’s all I’ve been thinking about lately. I’ve asked my parents if I could transfer home and row for a local club but they told me that I need to buck up and put my education first over my love for rowing. I don’t know what to do. They won’t listen to me at all. Do you have any suggestions? I don’t want to give this up.
I hate to side with your parents but they’re right. Transferring JUST to row isn’t a legitimate reason to switch schools, especially if you’re at a good school right now. You have to think long term – rowing’s not like football or basketball where you can transfer to a better school in hopes of getting more playing time and improving your stock in the draft so that you’ll hopefully land a multi-year, multi-million dollar contract. If you wanted to transfer schools because you didn’t think you were getting a good education or you realized that the school you’re at just isn’t for you, those would be legit. If you were transferring to an equally good or better university than the one you’re at, with an equally good academic program as the one you’re currently in, then you might be able to convince them but if they know the reason you’re doing it is ultimately because you want to row, it’s going to be a very, VERY tough sell.
I would investigate opportunities in your current city and at your school. During the summer you can row at your local club at home but during the school year, like your parents said, school does come first. It sucks but it’s just how it is. If you still ultimately decide you want to transfer make sure you’re doing it for the right reasons, whatever those might be. Sit down and have a mature, adult conversation with your parents. Gather all the facts (including financial costs of transferring) and present it to them. The more mature and rational you are about the situation, the more your parents will respect where you’re coming from and be willing to listen to you (even if they still say no in the end).