Should I Play Varsity or Intramural Sports in College?

Should I Play Varsity or Intramural Sports in College

The college dynamic is a lot different than high school. In high school, I was able to juggle everything all at once and still get good grades and be able to be successful in things outside of the classroom. Because college requires so much studying and work outside of the classroom, people are usually not able to juggle so many things successfully when in college.

One of the many things that students may be thinking about when going to college is should they try out for a varsity sport or just stick to playing on intramural teams. If you do not get chosen for a varsity sport, you can consider joining an intramural team.

Intramural teams still require a lot of time and effort.

They don’t require as much time as playing on a varsity sport in college, but it is still something that you are allocating your time to instead of school work. This is just going to be a decision that you’re going to have to weigh and decide the correct path.

You need to decide what is going to be most important to you during your college career.

When you get to school what is important to you an education, social life, job or sports. You can do all these things but you going to have to manage your time.

College Varsity Sports

I had friends that got full-ride scholarships to play football, tennis, basketball, and baseball. These sports were very time consuming especially if you are at a division one college.

Another friend at my school is a D1 soccer player and she’s doing just fine with the workload and sports.

It’s all about how focused you’re going to be. I did not personally play any sports in college but I have made many friends that do play sports competitively. The more competitive the school and sport the more time you will have to train. The more you train the less studying you can do unless you have no life but training and studying.

This will make your college life tough.


Many athletes have to spend summer vacation and other breaks at school in order to attend practices and games. If you were interested in playing any kind of sport in college and you definitely wanna make sure that you’re going to be ok missing out on fun college or personal activities.

You could potentially have to miss certain holidays, weddings, etc. It is obviously worth it if you are doing something that you love, but just make sure that this is something that you want to sign up for.

I have a friend who had to miss her sister’s wedding for a football game and I also have a friend who had to miss the birth of her niece. Obviously different things have different priorities and you just have to be willing to be putting the sport about everything else.

Doing intramural sports is not going to be as serious so you can miss games or practices to attend family or school events.

If you play a fall sport then you are going to have to move into college a couple of weeks to a couple of months early. This is not a bad thing and you’re simply spending more time on campus, but you definitely want to be prepared to make the move early.

The different breaks offered at college might simply be something that you might just have to give up if you want to be a serious athlete in college. We all give up different things to gain different opportunities and this is just one of the downfalls of playing a sport.

However, most of my friends that play sports in college say that missing big events with family is completely worth it and they don’t regret anything. If you are in love with the sport enough you won’t care what you have to miss to be able to play.

Time into Sports

It is no secret that you are going to be putting a lot of time and effort into any type of sport that you play in college. Sometimes certain intramural sports are said to be just as seriously taken as some of the varsity sports.

Sometimes you still get to travel and do other cool things like that as well for the intramural. If you have a passion for then just manage your time so you can do it.

The problem becomes that you don’t manage your time well and you are slipping academically. You start letting your academics and grades slip because of the sports. You are there to get a degree and not to play sports so if you have to cut back then you have to cut back.

However, if you didn’t have a job or do any other extracurriculars other than your sports for maybe a little bit harder for you to catch one. difficult and time-consuming. Basically, as long as you’re willing to use your free time for your support instead of socializing you will do great and be able to balance everything very well.

You’re obviously still going to have time to have a social life, it will just be limited especially during that sports main season. You also want to think about the fact that if you’re going to have a job you’re going to be balancing it, playing a sport, and trying to do your schoolwork.

Just make sure you are not taking on too much at school.

There are athletes I know whos first year playing a sport and getting an education went very well. They were able to manage their time in the sport, study for school and be social. I also know some athletes that are going for a hard major as well which means that their classes, coursework, homework, and studying will be more intense.

As an athlete, you can do this no matter what anyone else says you just have to put the time and effort in. You are going to have to work extra hard if you are going to be a college athlete. Being a student-athlete you will have to have the determination to make this work.

Intramural Sports in College

With intramural sports, you will not be getting any money or scholarships to play in this league at college. This is more for fun and to stay in shape while at school.

You get to also meet a bunch of different athletic people with similar sports interest. They have many different sports leagues and many are co-ed. If you have trouble meeting people of the opposite sex and you are athletic maybe you should join an intramural sports team in college.

Varsity Sports in College

Varsity sports will be harder than obviously just playing intramural sports at college. These teams are well-coached and most members on the teams have been recruited to play that sport at the school.

Playing at a high level requires a lot of hard work and dedication. You have to manage all the practicing with the academic school load for your major.

The great thing is many student-athletes get scholarships to help with school. They also get help from the university with tutoring, free room, and board.

If you are playing division 1 sports it is grueling with some of the training. The same for the rest of the divisions in college training is hard and requires a large time commitment. Make sure if you are a student-athlete you are prepared for the challenge of sports and academics.

You want to play sports in college then check out the NCAA page on playing sports.


If you are someone who is super passionate about a sport. Having the opportunity to continue to play your sport is going to give you so much gratification. You’re also going to learn so many new things because you’re going to be playing at the college level.

It is just a completely different dynamic and you’re going to be learning so many different things that you didn’t even know you could learn. Many people will be jealous that they didn’t get to play sports after high school.


College athletes, if they do not make the pros, will many times end up coaching. Especially if you have kids, you may want to coach their teams. Coaching youth, high school or college athletes is such a rewarding path to take in life. This is a new challenge that can make you feel so accomplished.


Overall this is a decision that only you can make. You know what is best for you and what your priorities are. Make the decision that is best for you and based off of your own thoughts, not anyone else’s.

You may also find helpful this article on how to balance school and social life.

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