It is common for high school seniors to be unsure of what to do next. Many know that they want to go to college, but need time to earn money for their tuition. Others want a new experience before continuing their education. Or maybe they believe their resume does not have enough experience to be accepted into their dream school. There is also the possibility that they still do not know where to apply and what they want to major in.
Luckily, there are opportunities that allow for all of these different issues to be resolved at the same time. Hopefully, throughout high school, you have learned that successful adults know how to research and how to make a plan to accomplish their goals. The summer after you graduate is a great time to finalize your objectives for this time off from education. You do not want to wait for the fall to ensure that you are not making a rushed decision. Starting in the spring allows time for any necessary applications to be processed.
Leave Your Comfort Zone Behind
Say you have decided to take a year-long break from school before you go to college. What is next? You will want to take this time seriously and sharpen your natural skills and talents. If you believe that you are a leader, speaker, or advocate, you could even be eligible for scholarships for gap year students while meeting people from all over the world and making a difference.
You can always consider these questions: What concerns do you have about your future? What choices do you need to make in order to reach your fullest potential? Do you have or want to make like-minded friends that can inspire you? Do you need clarity about your next chapter in life? Whatever your dreams are, take the steps to achieve them. Reach out to a mentor or trusted adult, if needed. Remember that no question is a dumb question.
Get Prepared for College
Take your time to research the different benefits for students who take time off before college. It can be a time for growth and learning more about yourself if you choose the right program or self-planned experience. What do you still need to know about being an adult? Maybe you are curious about different climates and cities, and you are hoping that learning about them will help influence where you want to go to school. Different schools offer different styles and campus cultures. Find the right one for you. Look into community colleges versus universities, and trade schools.
Sit down with your finances and a calculator. Compare the costs of different educational programs, as well as the salary forecast for your chosen career. Write a list of expenses you have or want to have and budget these out to see if you will be able to afford them while working your dream job. Make an informed decision when you choose your college major and your upcoming quality of life.
Make Lifelong Memories
Money and preparation are important, but so are life experiences. New endeavors can help you see the world around you differently. If done right, your year off can teach many things. You want to remember this as the time that you received so much clarity in your decision-making. Take several college tours and ask different people if you can job shadow them.
Do not let these months pass without challenging yourself and breaking out of your normal routine. Take on new challenges and personal expectations. Find out why you are the way that you are. What makes you tick? Try new things and get to the bottom of what inspires you in life. You could consider trying new food, reading a book you normally would not read, and travel if you can. Explore what makes you happy. Make sure that once this time is over, you have some good stories to tell.