By Tyler Hooks
The Unprofessionals is sporadic column where we lend our interns or otherwise opinionated people a platform for their voice on RC matters or racing events. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of LiveRC. Got an opinion? Submit your story to firstname.lastname@example.org and we might publish it!
It is almost graduation season kids — time to move on into the workforce, trade school, or college. All choices are valid, I don't judge, but the questions pops up every year. "How do I (the incoming college freshman) navigate class, work, a social life, and still race?" The answer is that there is no correct answer. Sorry to burst the bubble, but we all have different circumstances so all I can do is offer some advice.
This by no means is true in every occasion; it may or may not be correct, valid, or helpful, depending on who you are, but it's my opinion on the matter. You have one real job here: pass your classes and move on to graduate. Beyond that, everything else is secondary.
Moving into your first semester at college, if you have the space in your dorm, apartment, at home, or whatever, then hold on to your rc gear unless you desperately need the cash. Once you settle in with class, your new work schedule (if you have a job), and your social obligatons, then evaluate the time you have left, your access to cash, your willingness to race, and your grades. If you are still interested, then go racing. If not, then obviously you should sell your stuff and move on before your gear loses value. As many have said, RC will always be around, college is only for a couple of years.
For myself, I am fortunate enough to have my college expenses taken care of, and I live close enough to my dad that we can still race regularly. I do have two internships, summer classes, and an 18-hour course load for the next two semesters, so I don't have time to practice. But I still like attending a few weekend events a month, and I am not one to party or drink a lot. RC gives me the ablity to separate from the monotony of normal life and have something to look forward to.
Brad Shearer, the current Reedy Open 2wd Buggy Champion, attends college full time, and still races at a very high level. Between having a lot of support from sponsors and friends, painting bodies, and selling plazma weekly, he is able to continue racing and traveling.
Dustin Evans, the current Reedy Invite Champion, is out of college, but he competed professionally for Team Losi Racing while attending college for business. We didn't see him has much racing while he was in college, but he was still extremely competitve.
Collin Weatherholt, a 2016 IFMAR Worlds attendee, took a step back from RC upon graduatiing high school, to attend college and work for an Indy Car team. He still races on occasion but has definitely put RC on the back burner.
So, in conclusion, pass your classes, go to work if you have it, keep up with social obligations, have a great time and, if you can fit in RC, then go for it. If not, maybe we will see you in the future and we wish you the best. Good luck to all the high school graduates this year. It only gets better from this point!