Why You Should Take A Gap Year
As my high school career begins its end, many questions from family, friends, and even strangers have come about. What are you going to study? Where are you going to college? Have you started saving yet?
Of course I have the general answers. Yes, I will study journalism, if given the opportunity. I hope to go to Indiana University. No I haven’t started saving much. These robotic responses drag on, making me less excited about the future ahead of me.
Of course I love writing, but traveling has always been a passion of mine. Going from place to place as a kid, has made me more adaptable, even restless if in one place for too long. Perhaps that’s why when I realized I didn’t need to hop from high school to college, a gap year had me hooked.
But I have given up telling people about my ideas of a gap year since so many seem to scorn and question me even more. What about your education? Won’t you miss your friends? What will you do in all that time? Won’t you be bored? And of course the big question, WHY?
In this post I will comment and answer these questions on the seemingly unusual circumstances of A Gap Year.
What would you do?
This questions seems to stem from the idea that people that don’t go to college write after high school are either lazy or stupid. Both are equally untrue but in my case, I would be working on journalism and building up my own company or business. In reality, I would be getting more done as far as furthering my career than I would finishing up core classes in my first year of college.
Where would you go?
In addition to writing, I would travel. A common complaint with that answer is that travelling is costly and dangerous. Yeah, if you go to Syria. I want to be learning every day, almost uncomfortable with my surroundings but not in danger. Of course, I could move to some European country, consisting of native English speakers for a laid back gap year, but I am looking more towards an adventure. Currently I am planning on spending a year in Japan. It would be a complete change in culture and language as well as teach me responsibility of myself.
What about the money?
Contrary to popular belief, a one way ticket to any country wouldn’t be too expensive. If I truly wanted to, I could afford one right now with my minimal amount of funds. The main issue comes in with the visas and even though the cost of living in Japan would be 40% higher than in Noblesville, Indiana, I would be accumulating wealth rather than wasting it on a school that may or may not help me in the future. There is the possibility of debt with travel, but at least it isn’t guaranteed, as it is with college.
What about all of your high school friends?
To be honest, there are about five of my friends at school that have to potential of being lifelong friends and none of them have the same major or top school. And if I had the chance to travel or go to college with my friends, I would travel. Sure, they would be ahead in their education, but most of my friends career paths require more than a four year college anyway. And from what I have heard, the boundaries between the classes are blurred more in college. Besides, we have the technology that can connect people from around the world.
What about all the planning?
What better way to learn about the real world than to travel? There is no better way to learn responsibility than to have experience with it. College isn’t a magical place where you come in a crazy single minded adult and exit a wise middle aged twenty year old. Leaving the country to live in another, would help anyone look back on their lives in the US with a new perspective.
In a simple response, because I can. Why would I choose to sit in one place for the next few years of my life, accumulating debt as I am taught things I could easily google? I want to learn about other cultures and continue what I love without the stresses of homework, tests, and loans.
Below I have a list of websites that include more reasons as to why I shouldn’t go to college. In the end, the decision is mine to make, and whether I go to school, take a gap year, or I continue my life without a higher educations, I just hope to be happy.