Sarah is clearly at a crossroads and in the process of making the difficult decision of what to do next. She's already won the grand prize when it comes to figure skating. What should she do next?
It takes a huge amount of mental and physical motivation to keep going as an elite skater. Does she have the drive to push forward? She's talked about going to college and being a 'normal' kid. Aside from the fact that, as an Oly gold medalist (in figure skating, to boot) she's never going to be a normal kid, she has many alluring opportunities on the college front. Should she completely change direction and go away to school? Should she sign with SOI?
It all depends on what she wants in the future, but I hope she considers all the ramifications. School probably sounds like fun - especially if she needs a change of pace because she's having trouble finding motivation to continue as on Oly eligible skater. However, if I were her, I'd try very hard to maintain a solid foot in the door to the world of figure skating. Even with a degree from Harvard, the 'real world' isn't that glamorous. Figure skating will provide her with opportunities that Harvard can't come close to offering - even though, I think an education is extremely important.
Thoughts on what she should do? This is certainly no life and death decision, but a lot for a 17 year old to think through.