I'm a 22-year-old college student drop out.
*Update, I'm back in school after my time abroad!*
I'm not ashamed to say I have no clue what I want to do for the rest of my life. I truly wish there wasn't such an incredible amount of pressure to immediately enroll into college after high school.
How is an 18-year-old supposed to know how they want to spend the rest of their life when they were just previously only worrying about which movie to see on Saturday night?
“What colleges have you applied for?” “How many schools did you get into to?” “Why aren't you in college yet?”
The social stigma of NOT being enrolled in school was 90% of the reason I enrolled in school in the first place.
My thoughts on college were like this: Everyone my age is in college right now, so I can't be the odd ball out and come off as a “loser.”
I kept getting asked, “What college are you going to? What's your major?” I gave in and decided to enroll in school even though I had no idea what I wanted to do.
The passion was NOT there whatsoever. 2 years later, I was still going to college with no f***ing clue and my mind was more scattered than ever.
Blogging has allowed me to work at home full-time and travel the world.
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That's when I decided to spend 2 months in Peru, winter break in Australia, and my journey has currently put me in Italy for 3 months. I am currently planning my trip to Asia, and then I'd eventually like to go to Africa and Australia.
There is such a large amount of pressure placed on teenagers (yes, teenagers have to decide what they want to do for the rest of their life at age 18, by society's standards). Does anyone else think this is absolutely absurd?
Since when did it become bizarre to NOT enroll in college immediately, and instead figure out what you want to do with your life BEFORE enrolling in school?
I don't think anyone should dive straight into school at 18 years old.
How can you possibly know what you want to do with your life when you haven't even spent time in the field before, and if you have, it couldn't have been more than a couple years of volunteering here and there.
**I'm going to go ahead and say that some people are lucky enough to figure out what they want to do when they're in high school, but for many of us, we aren't sure and some of us never figure out what we want to do EVER.**
According to Huffington Post, ” Only 27% of graduates have a job related to their major.” How many people do you know have a job that is direct to their major?
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Why I Think Travel Is Your Best Bet Before Enrolling In College:
1. Traveling will teach you things about life that no university can teach you.
It's as simple as that. You learn a whole lot about yourself when you're all by yourself in another country.
I've learned how to live independently, frugally, and happily all by myself thousands of miles away from anything I knew of. I've overcome countless obstacles and challenges that university would have NEVER taught me.
2. Traveling is more affordable than ever and learning how to travel on a budget is so incredibly easy.
If you have computer or access to the internet, you're set. There is an abundance of travel websites and articles that can teach you how to travel on a budget.
Sign up through WorkAway and take your pick at volunteering at an organic farm, yoga studio, animal sanctuary, or whatever else tickles your fancy.
Most if not all of these places will provide you accommodations, and many even provide food. You will learn about an entirely different culture and lifestyle which teach you about yourself.
3. Learning about different cultures and ways of living is going to open up your mind, possibly even to different professions and routes of employment that you never thought was for you.
I never thought working with animals would be something I would take seriously until I left the city of Cusco. In Cusco, Peru, there are hundreds if not thousands of dogs crowding the streets.
This simply broke my heart and opened a part of my soul that university simply wouldn't have.
Related: 11 Ways To Save Big On Flights
4. College tuition isn't getting any cheaper and is projected to increase for the years to come.
If you are not sure of what you want to major in college, it's better to save that money and start school once you actually have a solid plan in place.
5. You are actually building a strong resume from the very beginning.
I've volunteered for different organizations all over the world, spent time in different countries making connections with locals, and learned how to work in an entirely different environment.
A place of employment is going to take a look at how adaptable you are and (most likely) will be very impressed by your resume.
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According to CNBC, “The average cost of tuition and fees at a private, non-profit, four-year university this school year was $31,231—up sharply from $1,832 in 1971-1972 (in current dollars).”
If you're rushing to college without a solid plan, realize that there is a large price tag for each year you don't know what you want to do.
One might think going straight to college after high school is the smartest route, but we have to consider the logistics of the situation.
In this day and time, an average American can't afford those extra years of being in University without a solid plan. The high inflation of tuition simply is not meeting up with the cost of living.
I noticed it's fairly common in Europe to go traveling first.
Many of my au pair/volunteer friends that I have met abroad weren't even in university yet or were taking a hiatus like I was.
I asked how their parents and friends reacted to traveling instead of going to uni, and they almost ALWAYS tell me that everyone's on board and it's actually common to travel or work before enrolling college.
The average college student changes their major at least once, with others changing 2, 3, and sometimes even more than that.
What are your thoughts? Should every student dive into university regardless of where their heart lies or is traveling a better option?
Just know that the feeling of wanderlust never goes away.
Here are a few photos of my adventures. Enjoy. =)
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