I competed in track and field in high school as a thrower. While I made great friends on the team, learned valuable lessons about competition, and developed as a leader, I wasn’t tremendously successful at it. No D1 offers came my way (I never really considered it a realistic possibility anyways), and I didn’t want to try out for club track because, to be honest, I was done with it.
I thought I was done with organized athletics, actually. You’ll hear on college visits and from friends about how much fun intramurals can be, but I didn’t buy into it. I thought I could get my fitness in other ways, and didn’t see much of a point to competing again.
That is, until fall semester sophomore year when I was roped into competing in 7-on-7 flag football with a few friends. We played games every Thursday at 8:00 p.m., and it ended up being a ton of fun. It gave me the opportunity to hang out with my friends, get exercise, and develop a skill (my hands have gotten a lot better since sophomore year), and compete. By having a great time in intramurals, I realized that where or how you compete doesn’t matter as long as you are having fun.
At Illinois, we have a robust intramurals system. I’m currently competing in the 4-on-4 flag football league (we have two games tonight), but there are also leagues in events like water polo, sand volleyball, soccer, and broomball. You can check out all of the events we have in every season here (there are 2 seasons per semester). The leagues only last about 4-6 weeks depending on the playoffs, so it’s relatively risk free and low investment. I encourage you to give it a try. Talk soon.