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April 18, 2019

DI Ice Hockey Player | My ACT Score Kept me out of my Dream School

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Photo by Providence Friars

As a hockey player growing up, I dreamt of playing college hockey. Living in the Boston area filled my mind with not only playing Division 1 Ice Hockey but competing for a Boston institution, playing in a Beanpot Championship and getting a chance to play close to home in front of my family and friends would be a dream come true.

This dream felt far away to a little girl face pressed against the hockey glass watching the players who seemed so much older skating around with the logo of Hockey East schools on their chests. Autograph sessions and photos ops all felt l so far out of my reach.

I never realized my potential to play DI hockey until the end of middle school and in the early days of high school. My coach informed me that some NCAA coaches were interested in me,  and at the time I was shocked. I was around fifteen at the time and never imagined that something like this could happen to me at such a young age. I was over the moon.

After a year in high school, my dreams got closer. The NCAA rules and regulations have changed since, but coaches started contacting me during the summer after my freshman year. I already had a narrowed down list of schools in my head to which I would be open to touring and visiting. I had an even shorter list of schools I dreamt of attending and then I had my dream school.

As a high schooler, once your heart and mind are set on something, it is hard to be open to other opportunities. I didn’t know what type of school I wanted to go to, whether that be big or small. I didn’t know what kind of campus I would like, city or rural. Most importantly, as a freshman in high school, I certainly had no idea what I wanted to study in college or what I wanted to do after I graduated college.

Since the “list” I made in my head was already narrowed down, only the schools that fit into my criteria were the ones I visited. These schools were in the Hockey East and not too far from my home in Massachusetts. I turned down a few opportunities to tour some colleges, which at the time felt like they would be far away, but in reality, I may have ended up liking them. I don’t think you ever know until you step foot on campus whether or not you can see yourself there.

The day came when I got invited to campus for a visit to the school. This school was Boston University, the home of the Terriers. BU was a thirty-minute drive from my house and down the street from Northeastern University, which my sister was attending. Everything lined up for me; it was in Hockey East, competed for a Beanpot, close to home, a well-known school for academics, it had everything. What I didn’t consider was, is it the school for me, or did I just like the idea of going to BU because it was all I had known?

My sophomore year put everything into perspective for me. I had multiple schools waiting to hear back from me about my recent SAT and ACT exams. I felt kind of young to be taking standardized tests, but I also felt in a rush to make a decision. During the recruiting process, it feels like you have a small window of opportunity to make a decision. In reality, it is such an important process and decision, and it should never be rushed.

BU told me the minimum score I needed to get on my ACT exam, and I knew if I achieved this score, I would put myself in an excellent position to receive an offer from them for a position on the Terriers roster come the Fall of 2016.

I waited patiently for my results, and not too long after I received my scores. I was extremely upset and disappointed. I did not get the ACT score that was needed to attend BU. received my test scores. I was heartbroken. My immediate reaction was to take the ACT several times more at least until I received a score that can get me into BU.

It was now toward the end of my sophomore year and I had a decision to make. Do I close some doors and focus on obtaining the ACT score required for BU or do I explore other options? The conclusion I ultimately made was hard for me, but it opened up an incredible opportunity.

A school that was never on my radar now became a college that I would be interested in. This college is Providence College, a small private college in Providence, RI. The coaches contacted me, and to my delight, they were eager for me to visit the campus. At first, I was hesitant, “It’s not in Boston, it’s small (only 4,000 undergraduates) and is an hour and a half away”. Not that ideal for me.

On my way to Providence, I was thinking, “I am going to check it out, but I am sure I won’t like it.” I can tell you now, as a current Providence College Friar, I was wrong. I loved it, and after my visit, I knew exactly where I wanted to attend college and play the sport I loved so much. I never had that feeling at another school, not even when I visited BU where I dreamt of going all my life.

Sometimes things don’t go as planned. Don’t close any doors or narrow opportunities in the recruiting process. Take your time, explore all of your options and don’t let a bad test score or a school not being interested in you get you down. As I said, you never really know if you will like a school until you are on campus.