When the time came for Ollie McLaughlin to make a choice between his studies and his swimming career, he thought "why not both?"
The Kinross year 12 student started gaining interest from Division 1 NCAA colleges in America and soon after realised that he could have the best of both worlds.
After speaking to coaches from nearly a dozen schools, he received official offers from six.
"The only word I could describe it is surreal. I didn't really expect much attention to be honest," he said.
"I thought I might have a look because I was coming to a crossroad where I wasn't sure what I would do with swimming after school, whether I would go into university and focus on that or continue pursuing swimming.
"I wasn't sure how much interest I was going to get, but it was pretty overwhelming the amount that came through."
After much deliberation, he narrowed his choice down to two; Fairfield University in Connecticut or Canisius College in Buffalo.
In the end, he chose Fairfield as his home for the next four years.
"It's right on the beach, 1.5 hours away from New York City and close to the Canadian border and a seven hour flight to London, so it's in a perfect area really," he said.
"It's also got a smaller town feel so I'm not going to be thrown into a city coming from Orange, and it's on the beach which sold it for me."
McLaughlin medalled at the Australian championships in the 100 metre backstroke this year and trialled for the Olympic Games.
Now a new challenge awaits him.
"The swimming over there is completely different," he said.
"In the regular season they do these really cool events where it's schools versus school and you're racing for points, which is really exciting. The other thing is they race a hell of a lot more than we do.
"Some colleges race seven weekends in a row and each athlete does four individual events and relays. It's going to be a challenge, but I think it's really positive."
He will compete in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference and will leave for the USA in August, 2022 to study international relations.