Now we’re all about the college experience, but we also know it’s not for everybody, especially right after high school.Instead of going to college, it might be better to take time off to find out about yourself and your interests.
Where do you even start? Here are some thoughts for you to explore:
Maybe you HAD to volunteer in high school and it was not all that rewarding. But, that was forced volunteering. What if you offered to help a group or organization that you have an interest in? You will be working with people and learning how to be collegial with person with shared interests. You may also gain a better understanding of problems facing people like poverty and inadequate education. You will be leaning about the community you work in and how to be part of a community.
Traveling can get you out of your rut. You will be able to see new perspectives, learn tolerance, and problem solve (missed flights, language barriers, etc.) You will be independent which will help you mature and find out what your own strengths and weaknesses are.
Start a business
It might be a card making idea, an idea for dog walking, a tech business like website design. You can listen to your creative side. You can also learn very practical skills like handling money. You will learn what it is to work for yourself and to work hard, and you will understand what it is to be committed to an idea.
Do an internship
Yes, this is possible, even without a degree. You could job shadow, find a mentor, make a connection. You can find out what it is like actually working in the kind of job you choose, and you will be able to network with people in the job force.
Reading is a great activity, whether it’s online or from books and journals. You are able, through committed reading, to study deep, concentrate on your own interests, and hone the skills in your area of interest. You never know where reading might take you. You might just learn about other things that offer you new opportunities.
If none of the above seems to click with you, then just take time. You can work, live in a small apartment or share a place with friends, and take a community college course or a course online. This will give you time to make a good choice, to find out what interests you, and to see what college life might be like for you.
Isn’t not going to college a risk? Yes, it is. Everyone else is following the main road blindly. Why not go along? But, think of how taking a year or two might help you be even a better college student or usher you into a more authentic future. You will not be accumulating debt, you will be learning day-to-day skills, getting real life experiences, and, most importantly, learning about yourself and gaining self-confidence to make the right decisions about your life, just a bit later.