To all the High School Seniors graduating this year, I congratulate you. You’ve done the 12 years of mandatory service and now, you get to make some choices of your own.
I graduated in 2010 and jumped on the college bandwagon. Everyone said going to college after graduation was the right thing for my life, and for that first year I believed them. I did my classes, took my notes, and even took a couple ridiculous classes which I have yet to ever use the “knowledge” I learned.
Then I got the bill.
I knew that college was expensive, and I knew I’d have to pay for classes, but I was under this grand illusion that the classes I would pay for would actually be worth the cost. I could never be forced to pay for something I didn’t really need, right?
Art History 101 proved otherwise.
Fed up with the whole system, I did what all the admission counselors said not to do and is now what I advise others to do: I took six a couple years off from school.
Side note: A year or 2 is a good “gap”, but try not to go over 3. Because by then your ACT and SAT scores expire and you will have to retake the math test and hope trigonometry is one of those things that just comes back to you like riding a bike…
Despite adding to the many problems I’m facing now, like not being eligible for “graduating senior” scholarships and having archived test scores, the extra long gap helped me because I was uncertain about everything in my future. I had no clear objectives. I didn’t know who I was (I now realize that’s a silly question), nor who I wanted to be (that’s a better question).
The gap years were one of the most turbulent, lesson learning times of my life. And I’m so grateful I went through them.
So I advise you, unless you’re certain that getting a college debt, I mean, degree right after high school is what you need to do, take some time to really figure out where you are headed in life, and what you need to do to get there.
Maybe an apprenticeship is all you really need?
I don’t know.
But if you don’t know either, take the time to find out before signing that 40,000.00+ dollar contract.
Karianne is the founder of Windmill Ways. She plays the cello professionally and currently works as an Art Director for a charity. Because she loves animated shows and movies, she studies 3D animation and graduated with a BFA with the unfortunate class of 2020. Her dream vacation would be just staying home, but "home" being a glamorous cabin somewhere in the mountains surrounded by forest.
Favorite band: Lord Huron
Favorite book: This Present Darkness
Favorite quote: "Get all the advice and instruction you can, so you will be wise the rest of your life. You can make many plans, but the Lord’s purpose will prevail." Proverbs 19:20-21 (NLT)
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