I can’t tell you how many times I get asked if I’m in college. Sometimes I wonder if that’s all that adults care about. I may not be in college, but I’m working two jobs, I’m taking dance classes, I’m teaching myself how to play guitar, I’m writing and I’m figuring out what I really want to do with my life. I don’t understand the pressure put on teenagers to choose a life path directly out of high school. I was originally only going to take a semester off. A semester turned into a year, which turned into two. Here I am, finishing my second gap year, finally ready to begin my college education.
I’ve been told by so many different people, that if I put college off for too long, I’ll never end up going. What they don’t seem to understand is that I’m the kind of person who goes after what she wants. I set goals and I push myself to not only meet them, but to surpass them.
I see my friends stressing out over applying to colleges and trying to figure their lives out. I see the pressure put on them by their parents, teachers, grandparents etc. to make decisions that will affect the rest of their lives. I know this may sound as though I’m against college, or making hard decisions. I’m not. But choosing to bury myself in student loans and college debt that I will have to spend the rest of my life working to pay off just isn’t something I want.
I’ve always known that when I decided to go to college it would be a class or a few classes at a time, only doing what I can afford. Sure it’s going to take me longer to finish school, but in the mean time I can do the things I want to do, such as travel. I mean, honestly, how many people can say they’ll have been to the UK twice by the time they turned 20?
I know there’s study abroad programs, you can go live in a different country for however many months, and I have no doubt that it’s a wonderful experience. But I guess for me, I’m going to go to college for the sake of learning, and travel for the sake of seeing the world and experiencing new things. I honestly think after two years, I’m more prepared and eager to learn than ever. That isn’t to say I haven’t learned anything in the past two years. I’ve learned so much, about the world, about myself and about the people around me. I feel better prepared to choose a career path. I’m not trying to say there’s a right or a wrong way to go to college, I’m just saying there is more than one way.