Are you feeling pressure from your peers or family to pursue a college degree? Feeling sort of weird about the idea of paying for school, socializing in large classroom settings, or just being away from your family right away? Understood. It makes sense.
If you take anything away from this article, it’s that it’s totally normal and completely okay that you may not already have life figured out. Hey, it’s okay. Your future is kind of a big deal – exploring curiosities and time are important factors when contemplating the world of opportunities in front of you. Goal setting seems nearly impossible at times, and if we’re being honest – a lot of people have experienced similar feelings when graduation is around the corner.
It’s better to explore your options than to settle and commit to something you don’t find valuable. You’ve likely heard your friends talking about taking a year off before getting back to the grind in college. But what is it? How do you do it? What’s the likelihood of making moves after? Here’s my advice: Need more time to figure it out? OK, take your time, but don’t miss out. Yea – I said it. You’re going to be extra sure with how you commit; this is a big deal. But that does not necessarily mean you don’t have to completely put a pause on your education.
You need a break from the “school is everything” grind. Solution: pick a general education course or two offered online at your local community college, and enroll right away. Thinking about committing to college is all about mindset. Flip your mindset, change your life.
Whatever you choose, you’ll find that taking some time off after high school can be beneficial to your mental health and make a positive impact as you discover yourself, your interests, and your passions.
About actually quitting school “cold turkey” and taking a real gap year:
A gap year is a chunk of time after high school that is dedicated to experiential learning. High school is tough, and the academic and social pressures can cause severe burnout. This is typically when high-school graduates find time to travel, find paid work, become an intern, and make connections outside of the classroom – you know; “adulting”. Gap years have been described as a reset to deepen one’s practical, professional, and personal awareness. This can really help you gain confidence in your abilities to become independent which can greatly benefit someone when choosing a career and correlating major pathways in college.
Taking a gap year isn’t for everyone. Think about the last time you took a vacation somewhere: when you returned, your motivation to do homework or clean your room was probably low. If this is your truth, consider some of the disadvantages of taking a gap year. Some students can feel a sense of lost momentum, fear of falling behind and struggle knowing that the transition back to school may become more difficult. When we say that a gap year is heavy on planning, trust us (especially if you’re considering travel). One thing’s for sure, if you’re considering it, you should go into your gap year with a clear plan of what you’re aiming for. If you don’t keep focused and aim toward a goal, you’re likely to miss out on the positive advantages a gap year can offer.
The Obvious Answer:
Don’t quit school cold turkey. Get in front of your decisions and remember every action you take is an action toward achieving your future goals – even if you don’t know exactly what they are yet.