I’m fresh out of high school and entering college for the first time. This is the start of a new chapter, and it’s supposedly going to be the best years of my life, according to friends and family.
Although I’m excited to start this new chapter, I can’t help but feel a little nervous when I check the “undecided” box on the form for identifying what my major is.
What if I don’t know what I want to do yet? At least I’m going to a university like everyone else. I’ll figure it out along the way. No one really knows what they want to do at this age, right?
Now let's flash-forward to the end of my sophomore year in college. I spent the past semester studying abroad, and I caught what many people call the travel bug... I think I’m infected for life.
I’m about to start my junior year in college now, and I’m still not sure what I want to do. I have passions and ambitions, but when it comes to picking a career path and sticking to it, I have no clue.
I’ve been studying communications for the past two years, but suddenly the thought of sitting in a classroom is making me sick.
I’m young, and I have the whole world ahead of me. At this age, maybe it’s possible that attending a college or university straight out of high school could be more detrimental to our lives then beneficial. Here’s why:
We’re too young to pick a career.
Honestly speaking, how are we really supposed to know what we want to do when we’re 18? When I was 18, the only thing that was really on my mind was either my boyfriend or which show I could binge-watch on Netflix.
Maybe this age is a bit too young to be focusing on a career, especially when we are too involved with the social aspect of partying and meeting new people. Wasting away in a classroom doesn’t really appeal to anyone at this age.
Of course, we do want to learn, but I feel like the most beneficial learning at 18 would be to learn about oneself. If you don’t really know who you are as a person, how could you expect to know what you want to do for the rest of your life?
A perfect plan may not make you happy.
I knew many people in college who had it all figured out. They had specific majors, specific classes, specific internships and even job positions on lockdown all throughout college.
They knew the right connections, got the grades and graduated with the opportunity to jump right into working. Yet, now they are surprisingly unhappy.
Going to a university proved to be successful in the sense that they are making good money and working, but it’s also proved to be unsuccessful because they aren't doing what makes them happy.
Some of them are even thinking of going back to school or changing careers. They seem trapped in a world of boring, grey adulthood; their vibrant selves are a thing of the past.
It’s a waste of time and money.
If you don’t know what you want to do yet and you’re constantly changing your majors and classes, you’ll only waste money. College isn’t cheap, so it doesn’t make sense to study a subject that you’re not 100 percent sure you want to study.
Instead, you should spend your time working and traveling, maybe even at the same time. Traveling teaches you more things than any lecture or class can teach you.
You meet people from all over the world who you never would have had the chance to meet, and these connections allow you to travel further to visit these new friends. You become more open-minded and positive about everything and only grow as a person.
Though traveling is expensive, you can always work part-time while you travel. That way, you gain the experience of making your own money while living in a new and exciting place. Hey, you might as well gain these experiences now while you’re young.
You can always go back to school.
That’s the beauty about college: You can take a year or more to yourself and then return back to it when you feel like you’re mature and ready. I have several friends in their late 20s studying in my classes with me, and that’s totally okay!
They took time for themselves after high school, did their own thing, lived their own lives to the fullest and when they finally discovered who they were, went back to school to study.
Now that they are older, they feel like they are ready to have a career. They are confident in what they what to do because they finally figured out who they are.
College is certainly important, but only when you’re ready. Who made this plan that we need to go to college right after high school? Is it wrong to take time for yourself, traveling and learning about the world? We’re young, we’re curious and we’re searching for happiness.
Discovering yourself is the only way to find that, so taking a break from school may be the answer for some people. We’ve got time; what’s the rush?