For many a high school senior college seems like the best next thing to do. But I know an equally large number who don’t feel they’re ready for college. Some aren’t ready to commit to serious schoolwork. Others don’t yet know what they want to study. And plenty of them just want to try something other than school for a change. These are all fine feelings. There’s no rush to go to college; life isn’t a race.
So what is the graduate to do instead? Essentially there are three main courses of action: Go to work, travel abroad, or just lounge around the house. Let me deal with the third option right now,- lounging around the house is not a good idea. I said life isn’t a race; but that doesn’t mean it’s good to lounge about till your beard envelopes the couch.
Bumming about home isn’t totally without merit however. A young person will definitely get bored. They may begin to miss learning after a couple months of sloth. This is also a symptom of the stay-and-work plan; a young person’s work is boring. After unprecedented levels of drudgery the average student wants very badly to go back to school. It sure beats Starbucks right? These are good results. Spending a lot of money to pay for school is a mistake if you aren’t committed to making the most of it. That is one of the reasons taking a year off can be beneficial. Working can also help to earn the money you need for college.
And then there was one. . . travel. I consider traveling to be the most beneficial and exciting way to use a blessed year off. You’re young, you’re nimble, hostels won’t bother you, and you’re curious. Traveling can grant new perspectives to a student that high school never hinted at. Of course not everyone has the money to travel in style, but that’s ok. It can also be good to work as you travel. You’ll meet new people, learn new things, and get a better idea of what You want to do with your life. (and after traveling a young person will want to get back to school. They may be missing the social scene they were privilege to be a part of)
Two of my best friends took a year off after high school. Neither are slackers, neither are failures, and both are well on their way to success. It’s fine to take a year off. Just try not to let that year turn into an eternity.