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Should I take a year or two off after college?

Travel Forums General Talk Should I take a year or two off after college?

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1. Posted by T_I_N_A20 (Budding Member 35 posts) 10y

I'm not in College yet, but soon next year and I was wondering... After college, should I take a year or two off to travel? It may seems pretty early, but I like the idea of taking a break on my studies and work in London for a few months and travel all over Europe and then work in Japan or maybe learn Spanish in Barcelona... Or visit my friends from different countries. That would be so great...

But I'm also against doing that... My financiag? l advisor told me that I wouldn't be with people my age and I hate the idea of finishing school late... I have an idea what I want to be when I grow up, and I like the idea of starting in the work force early, although I really want to take a break from it all because I think that life is going too fast and I'm wasting my youth from studying all the time... Two of my cousins are in University right now, they're still young and all, and they already started taking stage right now. I also have other fears, like what if I forgot everything I've learned while traveling? Or I don't feel like going back to school after a year or two of traveling?

I know what I really want, is to travel... Still..Another part of me told me to stay in Quebec and finish University early, then go to the work force...

What do you guys think ? Give me the pros and cons about traveling... I don't need you guys to decide for me since I know what I really want, but the other part keeps telling me to stay where I am and travel every year for three months...

[ Edit: Edited at Sep 26, 2006 5:03 PM by T_I_N_A20 ]

2. Posted by markmac (Budding Member 60 posts) 10y

I would recommend travelling before school. You may know what you want to do now, which is great, but travelling opens up your eyes and teaches you more than any university could! Travelling is a wonderful experience, there is no requirement on age to travel, just an open mind and a great attitude.
You can continue your education at any time in your life, but the perspective you get from travelling is priceless, especially at a young age!
You and only you can decide what you want to do, it is a big decision with great results whichever you choose!
Best of luck, the world is a fun place!

3. Posted by Jimz (Budding Member 34 posts) 10y

Your question is a difficult one to which there is no simple general answer; only possible solutions tailored to your needs, wants, and personality. Basically, as one who finished schooling (undergraduate school, law school, and an additional year to obtain a Masters Degree) before entering the professional world as an attorney-at-law, it was my belief that if I had taken time off during that process, I would have been far less likely to have successfully and willingly returned to the academic world. However, I also had the luxury of being able to use time between semesters to travel extensively. That may have combined the best of both worlds. I now teach law at the college level and find that many of my students have, for a variety of reasons, economic and otherwise, delayed their university experiences with no seeming adverse consequences. In fact, some return to schooling with a renewed vigor and commitment.

You have to determine what is best for you in both the short and long term. In this day and age, maximizing educational possibilities does not insure a good, upwardly mobile position in life. On the other hand, economic prospects are greatly diminished without having pursued higher education and having obtained a diploma. If you have a good job prospect awaiting you either now or upon your return from taking time to experience some of the world, that may be the way to go. Classes can always be taken later. But, if you are simply thinking of wandering aimlessly with no clear goal in mind, that may prove to be an interesting, albeit disillusioning waste of time. Have you given any thought to seeking employment in the travel field? For example, there are a number of interesting positions on cruise ships or as tour group leaders. Working with a travel agency or an airline also provides numerous opportunities to travel often and relatively inexpensively.

You seem to not have yet established a goal or goals to pursue in life or to have established a route to attain them. Maybe that should be your immediate consideration. Then, everything else can flow from those decisions.

Good Luck.

ThotsNRamblins

4. Posted by pfeiffer (Full Member 211 posts) 10y

I would recommend travelling _during_ college, i.e., during your summer breaks. With a little planning you can also combine this with work. I spent one summer working for a summer theatre in Virginia. I made just enough to pay my way (that's theatre, it seems), but for a boy from the U.S. Midwest who had never been even close to the South (let alone the East Coast), it was quite an experience.

My only regret: that I didn't travel during my other summer breaks.

-Kevin
--
Kevin Pfeiffer

5. Posted by T_I_N_A20 (Budding Member 35 posts) 10y

Jimz : I do have a purpose to travel, maybe many. I hope to learn more about myself, what I really want in life and see the world. I do hope that my trip will bring me many lessons learned and become more mature.

Everytime I go to school, I feel like something is missing, like if I go through College through University and to the work field, I won't be happy... You see I've seen many people from my work place that has a pre-university degree in college but they haven't gone back to school for more than eight years, and they're working in a restaurant which pays minimum wage. They told me that they don't know what to do in their life... Yet, they went through school with no goal in mind. Another one has to wait till he's twenty-six years old to find what he really wants to do and he's currently studying business right now. What if I go into Finance and decide that it isn't for me? Where should I go ? I could go into the Tourisme industry but there's nothing I am interested in that field.

My worst fear is that I'll end up hating my job. When I travel, I'll go wherever I want to go, but I'll spend most of my time working in different countries and maybe, teach English or French somewhere.

6. Posted by T_I_N_A20 (Budding Member 35 posts) 10y

Quoting pfeiffer

I would recommend travelling _during_ college, i.e., during your summer breaks. With a little planning you can also combine this with work. I spent one summer working for a summer theatre in Virginia. I made just enough to pay my way (that's theatre, it seems), but for a boy from the U.S. Midwest who had never been even close to the South (let alone the East Coast), it was quite an experience.

My only regret: that I didn't travel during my other summer breaks.

-Kevin
--
Kevin Pfeiffer

Yeah I'll be doing that. I'll probably go to Australia next December with my father. But I need to work in the summer to earn enough for my trips.

7. Posted by lost again (Budding Member 66 posts) 10y

College will, if you let it, give you a new persective with which to see the world and bring you far more maturity. I would argue that you will get a lot more out of your travels after college and be able to apply the theoretical aspects of your knowledge (i.e. those learned in college) to the world you encounter.

But, that is just my experience. The by far most important thing is not to place too much value on what anyone tells you but rather listen to the voice within, be guided by your experiences thus far. And you will always have summers, winter breaks, and spring breaks to do some short term travel. Maybe even do a semester abroad so you can live and study in a foreign country.

go well,
Karl

8. Posted by s_hoot (Respected Member 497 posts) 10y

I would reccomend traveling before college. take your break now cause after you get out you will have all the bills/loans/etc.. to pay back and wont have money to travel. unless you have full paid scholarship and dont have to worry about that, or got rich parents. not all of us are that lucky though.

but either way, whatever you choose, GO TRAVEL!, if you dont now the do it right after college, you most likely wont get to do it the way you want to after you start some new job or get married, have 2.5 kids, get a morgage, 2 cars and a dog. i dont got any of that yet but have not conceived of a way to still travel WITH all of it.

Good luck!

9. Posted by magykal1 (Travel Guru 2026 posts) 10y

I didn't travel before studying, and spent the whole time studying regretting that I hadn't. I've never regretted travelling, only not travelling...

10. Posted by Rraven (Travel Guru 5924 posts) 10y

a lot of my friends dropped out of school to travel, when they came back they had more direction in their lives, they felt that they knew their 'true' selves, two went back to school and became so absorbed they scored top in their years and are now very successful in their fields , the other two discovered that they didn't want that type of life (they were training to be lawyers) and one transferred to medicene (now working in africa) and the other is working in a call centre but happily married,

i hope you follow your own heart and not what people tell you to do !!