Wow, we are talking about high school graduates here, not 6th graders. Lots of people go away for school - for athletics or academics or whatever reason they choose - and the vast majority are able to make it work and continue normal function. I did it, and I know countless others who also managed the transition successfully. It happens for hundreds of thousands of kids every year, and whether they have an athletics scholarship or not really does not change the situation much. Athletes actually have more structure and academic support than everyone else, because they represent potential revenue. But everyone has to gather information and make a choice. It is an important decision, I and for some maybe it is difficult. I can appreciate that. But I walked that same path, with dozens of options to consider, and ultimately chose to attend a school that was a full two days drive from home. It wasn't really that hard to make that choice, and certainly not traumatic. I looked at schools that offered things that held value for me, and then made a choice. Important, yes. Simple, yes. Overblown by nearly everyone, definitely. Where one chooses to attend and maybe participate in a major sport or not is a significant and life altering decision - that is the truth. But it is also true that this is an annual event for most 17-18 year olds, and it usually works out. And then these same "kids" have choose a major - also a life altering decision, and one that has a greater impact on their lives than where they send their tuition checks. People make important decisions all the time. It's life. If one values the wrong things, or makes poor choices, it may not be a good decision. That's life, too. But if you are serious about rhe decision to be made, and want to make the best choice for yourself, it's really not a difficult or traumatic event, as some here profess. (Or project). Take yourself seriously, find out what matters to you, be realistic about possibly/probably fluid situations, and make a damned choice. The world will continue spinning, the sun will continue to rise each day, and if you are halfway intelligent about making important decisions everything will probably be alright. As most of us can attest, most people will navigate this milestone, and many more will follow. It's life. Be appropriately serious with these choices, but realize that it's not life/death - and it is but one milestone in life, to be followed by many more. You have to live life and not continually be fearful, or whatever it is that the apologists are trying to explain is happening in the minds of recruits....the tone of these mantras is irritating.