Go Back  Bike Forums > The Racer's Forum > "The 33"-Road Bike Racing
Reload this Page >

Should I Continue going to College, or Drop Out to train full time? (Need Opinions)

Notices
"The 33"-Road Bike Racing We set this forum up for our members to discuss their experiences in either pro or amateur racing, whether they are the big races, or even the small backyard races. Don't forget to update all the members with your own race results.

Should I Continue going to College, or Drop Out to train full time? (Need Opinions)

Old 01-06-14, 07:04 PM
  #1  
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 8
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Should I Continue going to College, or Drop Out to train full time? (Need Opinions)

Before I start with my story, I'll give you some basic info first:
Age: 19
USAC Category: 3, (have enough points to upgrade to 2 though!)
Years Racing: 1
Total Years Riding: 1.5

So hopefully thats enough info for now, but as you can see, I am really considering dropping out of college. First off, I have no interest in any topics, I haven't declared a major and I didn't really do well in my classes these last few months of my first semester at college.
Now if I weren't riding or training, I would have no choice but to stay in school. I also think I would have much better grades too because I wouldn't be thinking about riding my bike or training 95% of the time i'm in class or studying. Not to mention I am training half the time anyway, and its hard to balance both.

I have only been riding for a little over a year but have had so much success in my first season of racing, and I am super determined to have an even better season this year. I just feel like staying in college is too much to handle.

My way of living is to follow a passion 99% and everything else would be that 1% leftover. In a way this can be good for success in cycling, but can be bad academically... But of course I am very social too, and liking staying well rounded. I just aren't much of the classroom type.

Having just signed with a top regional devo team, I feel like I can really develop and become a top national cyclist within the next few years, and who knows, even further. But lets take it one step at a time. Having only been riding a little over a year and to get this far, I believe there are still huge gains for me to make in cycling. But is this way of thinking right?

My feeling towards Dropping out is this: Leave school, train full time and focus for the next few years to see if I can really make something out of this sport. If all fails by the time I'm 23, then just return to school, where I am sure I would be determined to focus on my academics.

The general Public Opinion: Stay in school to have a back up plan.

I am still young and I believe I can make something out of this passion of mine, its just I am not sure if it really is a SANE decision.

So I'm turing to you guys here just to get some public opinion, anything you can offer would be helpful.

I should really be talking to my parents about this too... haha

Thanks,
Brett
Bb1123 is offline  
Old 01-06-14, 07:11 PM
  #2  
going roundy round
 
wanders's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: High Point, NC
Posts: 6,086
Likes: 0
Liked 4 Times in 4 Posts
Stay in school.
wanders is offline  
Old 01-06-14, 07:11 PM
  #3  
out walking the earth
 
gsteinb's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Lake Placid, NY
Posts: 21,441
Liked 752 Times in 342 Posts
41
gsteinb is offline  
Old 01-06-14, 07:14 PM
  #4  
Senior Member
 
longbeachgary's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Beautiful Long Beach California
Posts: 3,589

Bikes: Eddy Merckx San Remo 76, Eddy Merckx San Remo 76 - Black Silver and Red, Eddy Merckx Sallanches 64 (2); Eddy Merckx MXL;

Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
It really won't make much of a difference if you graduate school a few years later than planned. But you need to be clear that there are guys that you are going to be competing with who have had years of racing as juniors. If you are not consistently in the top finishers of your races, you really don't have much of a chance of doing anything with cycling.
longbeachgary is offline  
Old 01-06-14, 07:18 PM
  #5  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: East Bay Area ,CA
Posts: 1,766

Bikes: not enough

Liked 88 Times in 54 Posts
go back to school
spdntrxi is offline  
Old 01-06-14, 07:21 PM
  #6  
Galveston County Texas
 
10 Wheels's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: In The Wind
Posts: 33,290

Bikes: 02 GTO, 2011 Magnum

Liked 1,263 Times in 637 Posts
Drop the school..
__________________
Fred "The Real Fred"

10 Wheels is offline  
Old 01-06-14, 07:22 PM
  #7  
Senior Member
 
furiousferret's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Redlands, CA
Posts: 6,313
Liked 469 Times in 250 Posts
I think its a bad idea, but if you are going to flunk out or not commit to a career, by all means.
furiousferret is offline  
Old 01-06-14, 07:23 PM
  #8  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 1,243
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
If I was younger I wouldn't be going to school and getting in debt/spending my parents money without getting a degree that had a job on the other side. Those degrees are usually hard(engineering for example), and take actual work, which is sounds like you don't want to do right now. Not everyone should go right form high school to college so it would probably do you well to do something else for a while/forever instead of waste time and money getting a pointless degree if you get one at all.
misterwaterfall is offline  
Old 01-06-14, 07:25 PM
  #9  
Senior Member
 
johnybutts's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 3,317

Bikes: Type of horse.

Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
There is absolutely no reason you can't do both. period. end of story. if you think school is holding you back from a 20 hour week of riding, you need to organize your life better. Former poster ZeCannon was nationally competitive cat1 with full time school.

Also - Collegiate racing.
johnybutts is offline  
Old 01-06-14, 07:25 PM
  #10  
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 8
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
No i won't flunk out, It's just hard to balance both where you have so much passion in one thing, where the thing that should really be mattering (academics) is in the back of my mind.
Bb1123 is offline  
Old 01-06-14, 07:29 PM
  #11  
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 8
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by johnybutts
There is absolutely no reason you can't do both. period. end of story. if you think school is holding you back from a 20 hour week of riding, you need to organize your life better. Former poster ZeCannon was nationally competitive cat1 with full time school.

Also - Collegiate racing.
The university I go to has a top national Club cycling team. I am planning on racing for them this coming semester....
Bb1123 is offline  
Old 01-06-14, 07:30 PM
  #12  
out walking the earth
 
gsteinb's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Lake Placid, NY
Posts: 21,441
Liked 752 Times in 342 Posts
the guys with actual talent tend to be in school or working as they ascend the ladder. I know a guy who turned down a contract to race the 6 day circuit in order to stay in medical school. If you need to drop out of school as a three to 'make it,' it's pretty unlikely you have whatever it is it takes
gsteinb is offline  
Old 01-06-14, 07:40 PM
  #13  
Senior Member
 
shovelhd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Western MA
Posts: 15,669

Bikes: Yes

Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Half of the reason you go to college is to learn stuff that you might make a career of when your graduate. The other half is to learn to grow up on your own and find out what really interests you. If every college student knew exactly what they wanted to do from day 1 and stuck to it there wouldn't be as many transfer students. So my advice is to either lighten your college load to something less taxing like liberal arts, or aim your college degree at your current passion, like sports psychology, sports training, exercise physiology, sports marketing, stuff like that. Stay in school and race collegiate. Don't sandbag the Cat3's, upgrade right now to Cat2 and race collegiate A's. The season starts pretty soon.
shovelhd is offline  
Old 01-06-14, 07:42 PM
  #14  
**** that
 
mattm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: CALI
Posts: 15,402
Liked 104 Times in 30 Posts
Think long-term - say you go pro, cool.

But once you're 40 and retired, then what?
__________________
cat 1.

my race videos
mattm is offline  
Old 01-06-14, 07:44 PM
  #15  
Senior Member
 
grolby's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: BOSTON BABY
Posts: 9,789
Liked 86 Times in 60 Posts
Yep. Get organized, race collegiate. You have ample free time in college. Ample. You can have your cake and eat it, too. And that way, if the bike thing doesn't work out, you have an education.
grolby is offline  
Old 01-06-14, 07:47 PM
  #16  
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 8
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by shovelhd
So my advice is to either lighten your college load to something less taxing like liberal arts, or aim your college degree at your current passion, like sports psychology, sports training, exercise physiology, sports marketing, stuff like that. Stay in school and race collegiate. Don't sandbag the Cat3's, upgrade right now to Cat2 and race collegiate A's. The season starts pretty soon.
Thanks for the tip, yea I will race A's and once I get my grades up this semester, Ill declare a sports related major next year.
I guess I just need to rethink my priorities, Im sure I have what it takes to balance both, and to succeed in both. Maybe its other unrelated issues making me think this way... who knows, can't live in a dream world.
Bb1123 is offline  
Old 01-06-14, 07:49 PM
  #17  
Senior Member
 
shovelhd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Western MA
Posts: 15,669

Bikes: Yes

Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Dude, you're 19. You've got a lot of free passes in your back pocket. Priority #1 is to enjoy life.
shovelhd is offline  
Old 01-06-14, 07:53 PM
  #18  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Posts: 4,819
Likes: 0
Liked 1,032 Times in 580 Posts
As I understand it, only a handful of people can actually graduate to a level where they are making decent money in this sport. So from a strictly practical standpoint, it's folly to chase a dream like that at the expense of your education.

But as others noted, there's no reason you can't go back. And you'll probably have more focus if you do. I didn't start until I was about 22, having taken 'time off'' to hitchhike around the country and spend a few years drinking heavily in Austin and New Orleans. It was a breeze to graduate at the top of my class when I returned with a bit more maturity and purpose, whereas at 18 I'd have probably flunked out.

So why not give it a shot. But do it with a plan to keep your life moving forward if you don't make it to the big time.
jon c. is offline  
Old 01-06-14, 07:56 PM
  #19  
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 8
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by jon c.
As I understand it, only a handful of people can actually graduate to a level where they are making decent money in this sport. So from a strictly practical standpoint, it's folly to chase a dream like that at the expense of your education.

But as others noted, there's no reason you can't go back. And you'll probably have more focus if you do. I didn't start until I was about 22, having taken 'time off'' to hitchhike around the country and spend a few years drinking heavily in Austin and New Orleans. It was a breeze to graduate at the top of my class when I returned with a bit more maturity and purpose, whereas at 18 I'd have probably flunked out.

So why not give it a shot. But do it with a plan to keep your life moving forward if you don't make it to the big time.
Yes absolutely agree to this. This is my thinking if i were to drop out now. I can always go back if I wanted to.
Bb1123 is offline  
Old 01-06-14, 08:04 PM
  #20  
Senior Member
 
Gjc985's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Boston
Posts: 246

Bikes: Wilier Izoard XP

Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Stay in school. Look at ted king he graduated from college and now is a professional. Can you race for your college team? Where do you live?
Gjc985 is offline  
Old 01-06-14, 08:21 PM
  #21  
Riding the bike I love.
 
sstang13's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Canada
Posts: 1,011

Bikes: Marinano Delta

Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Ask yourself "what's the worst possible situation that can happen?" Then follow your heart.

Edit: Are we not also part of 'generation screwed'? A college degree doesn't garuntee you anything more than your cycling will. Especially considering that you'll give 110% in cycling and nothing near that in college.

Last edited by sstang13; 01-06-14 at 08:27 PM.
sstang13 is offline  
Old 01-06-14, 08:25 PM
  #22  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Tariffville, CT
Posts: 15,407

Bikes: Tsunami road bikes, Dolan DF4 track

Liked 183 Times in 104 Posts
If you aren't already dominating stuff then you're not going to be a pro pro, meaning a Euro dog. The guys that are good, they were good virtually immediately. In 2010 a Cat 4 that won his first race at (my) a Spring Series turned pro by the end of the year. Another guy who won the Cat 5 series at my race was a 2 (and placed 3rd in a really tough P12 crit) by the end of the year. When he was a 3 and I was in the same races as him he won every single race we both started. And he's no pro, he's a solid Cat 2.

A friend of mine tried to race pro in Europe. He was over there for 7 or 8 years, racing for what would now be considered the second tier teams (Continental? the wild card teams). Then he returned to the US and race domestic pros (Colavita, Lemond/Defeet, one or two others) for a few more years before giving up. He was lucky to have a back up plan. He was also super talented - at 15-16 years old he was regularly racing in P12 races, at the front. In one race, a national level crit in Nutley, he and his team, all Juniors were at the front for something like 40 or so laps of the 50 lap P12 race. They missed the break so they chased, keeping the break within bridgeable distance for an hour and change. He never made the top level.

Another friend was a super strong 3. He could lead out and beat two local 7-Up pros, both very good sprinters. He was the only one that could stay with Jeff Pierce when he was local and doing group rides. He could pull us down Route 123 for about 10 miles at 30-35 mph (it's slightly rolling downhill but still, us mortals were hard pressed to do 28-30 mph - he took it a notch up). He quit racing to learn his family business - he and the guy described above were really good friends, trained together all the time, and he realized that if the Euro dog couldn't make it then he definitely couldn't. So he quit.

You really have two separate questions:
1. Should I stay in school?
2. Should I try and become a pro?

They are two separate questions and they are not exclusive of each other. You can do both if you have the focus/smarts for school and the talent/determination for cycling. You may not be able to do either.
__________________
"...during the Lance years, being fit became the No. 1 thing. Totally the only thing. It’s a big part of what we do, but fitness is not the only thing. There’s skills, there’s tactics … there’s all kinds of stuff..." Tim Johnson
carpediemracing is offline  
Old 01-06-14, 09:06 PM
  #23  
Senior Member
 
grolby's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: BOSTON BABY
Posts: 9,789
Liked 86 Times in 60 Posts
Originally Posted by sstang13
Ask yourself "what's the worst possible situation that can happen?" Then follow your heart.

Edit: Are we not also part of 'generation screwed'? A college degree doesn't garuntee you anything more than your cycling will. Especially considering that you'll give 110% in cycling and nothing near that in college.
Funny that I'm now saying this in two threads, but: in spite of everything, the employment rate for people with college degrees is still significantly better than for those without.

And I wouldn't bet large money that the OP will put 110% in cycling just because he enjoys it. Because when you are training as much as you need to when you are really trying to make it, it becomes work, it requires focus and discipline. It's easy to oversimplify and say, whatever, you're screwed anyway, and you'll be good enough because you want it enough - but it's not a good basis for important decisions. You're not screwed anyway, and just wanting to be a pro doesn't mean you have what it takes. Cat 5 to 3 in one season is good, but it's not necessarily evidence that you can make it as a pro, or that you can afford to devote yourself solely to that project.

Just for an example: a guy who turned pro for Optum this year, Jeremy Durrin - he comes to mind because I know him, worked and rode with him in college. I believe he went from 5 to 3 in one season, not to 2 or 1, and he eventually made it to the pro ranks. But it took him three or four full years of development, all the while finishing college and then holding down a job. He had some obvious potential, but he didn't drop out and he had to work to pay his bills. And he's got another business going as well! Point being, you might be able to make it, but you need to be able to work your ass off doing something that you may not enjoy, no matter what. Dropping out isn't really a great indication of having the work ethic you need to make this happen. Stick with school. Keep racing. If you're going to drop out of college, don't do it because you think you need to in order to go pro. If that's your attitude, you don't have what it takes.
grolby is offline  
Old 01-06-14, 09:20 PM
  #24  
aka Tom Reingold
 
noglider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: New York, NY, and High Falls, NY, USA
Posts: 40,776

Bikes: 1962 Rudge Sports, 1971 Raleigh Super Course, 1971 Raleigh Pro Track, 1974 Raleigh International, 1975 Viscount Fixie, 1982 McLean, 1996 Lemond (Ti), 2002 Burley Zydeco tandem

Liked 2,723 Times in 1,579 Posts
It's impossible to say what would produce the best outcome, but staying in school brings a chance that you'll discover other talents or abilities. Making a life out of bike racing is a long shot, and it's not all that promising a life. If you want to do it and then go back to school later, that makes sense. I took a couple of years off after two years in college. I was wasting time and money in college pursuing a music major. In my time off, I worked as a bike mechanic and took a three-month trip through Europe on my bike. I came back and went back to college, majoring in computer science. That second major has afforded a good career for me.

I never left singing. I'm a very active amateur singer, and I get occasional paid gigs, too. But I'm very glad not to be a professional musician. That would be too hard for me. Not my style. Being a professional athlete would also be too hard for me and not my style. But I can't speak for you.
__________________
Tom Reingold, tom@noglider.com
New York City and High Falls, NY
Blogs: The Experienced Cyclist; noglider's ride blog

“When man invented the bicycle he reached the peak of his attainments.” — Elizabeth West, US author

Please email me rather than PM'ing me. Thanks.
noglider is offline  
Old 01-06-14, 09:20 PM
  #25  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2021
Posts: 789
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Bb1123
No i won't flunk out, It's just hard to balance both where you have so much passion in one thing, where the thing that should really be mattering (academics) is in the back of my mind.
HTFU, get some discipline. Don't ride your bike until your homework is done. If you don't get straight A's, then sell your bike(s). FFS, listen to your parents, stay in school, and get A's.

Of course riding your bike is fun. Don't mistake that for a vocation.
happybday29475 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Your Privacy Choices -

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.