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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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11. Posted by Mel. (Travel Guru 4567 posts) 10y

Hello Tina

I took a year off, after high school. That year pretty much moulded my life. Best thing i ever did. It really did not matter that the other students at my university were a year younger.
I lived and worked in London, for that year and at the end of the year travelled extensively around Europe. During that year, i developed my love of travelling. I then went to university, after the year was over.
I think, if u do decide to take a year out, you will go to school, if that is what is right for u. During the year, u may find yourself and get a stronger feeling about what is the right direction for u to next take, in your life.
If i am to give u one piece of advise, it is dont get yourself into debt. Travel and go to school as much as u can afford, and earn money, for the rest of the time. It will be time enough to get into debt, if u want to buy a house, or if u get into debt by accident. Debt is a burden and the enemy of freedom.


12. Posted by TylerJames (Respected Member 333 posts) 10y

i think you have to ask yourself who are you living your life for. you only have so many years why waste them doing something for someone else. if you decide to travel and find out it was a mistake you have nothing to lose but if you dont you may have have a major regret. lifeĀ“s about taking chances and experencing new people and new things travel is all of that and more . i think you should go for it , it will change your life.

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

lost again : Yes, I'll go to College. In Quebec, we have to pass by college to get in University, so I'll have two more years to make my final choice, for now, I already decide what I'm going to do. You're right... I take too much values on what people thought that I don't know anymore what I really want.

s_hoot : I live in Quebec, tuition is pretty cheap compare to the US and other part of Canada ( I think). My dad already set aside a lot of money to pay for my books and tuition for my studies, I'll get to take a year or two off after college, my dad said he's okay with it but not after high schoool.

magykal1 : Yeah, I'll make sure I'll take the chance while I can to travel. Thanks =)

Rraven : yeah you're so right... I should fellow my heart. I will travel!

Mel. : I had planned my big trip in three years in a mutual fund, so I have money in reserve. My dad has already set aside a lot of money for my college studies and my University, it's enought to cover for two year starting next year. I recently got a job near my house, and I'll surely save up. I'm making plans so while I travel, I won't get in debt too much, maybe a little. Thanks for the advice, I'll be traveling in three years. =) I'll surely travel in between my studies too, like little trips that'll last for a few days or a week.

TylerJames : Thanks for your advice, I'm feeling a lot of more confident about my choice. I hope it'll give me a new perception about life.

14. Posted by agc_cwm (Respected Member 45 posts) 10y

I would recommend looking into teaching English or French somewhere. My girlfriend and I are in Japan right now teaching English. This is giving an opportunity to live in another culture, make money(pay off debts) and travel. We have been to Hokkaido (the northern Island in Japan) around Osaka and for our Winter vacation we are planning to go to Vietnam and the Philippines. We are also trying our hardest to save a lot of money so we can travel home through China, Russia and Europe. The only down side is to get a visa in Japan you need to have a University degree.

We are in Japan, but there are many other countries that need English teachers, Korea, Thailand, China, etc.. I would definitely recommend this route to anyone.

Good luck with your decision. I don't think either one is a wrong choice.

15. Posted by jza80 (Full Member 54 posts) 10y

Hi Tina,

I'd recommend you to travel during your summer breaks. Don't drop school or take a year off. Education is just as important. It's fun to travel and see a lot of the world but it isn't everything in life.

Some people aren't fortunate enough to even hop on a plane and fly anywhere. Don't take things for granted.

Perhaps you can do an exchange program where you can experience living in another country for 3-6 months!

There are so many places to visit and you're still so young. Don't worry about missing out. You'll be able to travel even after you start working. It's hard to find a proper balance in life. I've seen people who have travelled all around the world and learnt nothing. It depends on what you want to get from your travels.

You are not wasting your youth on studying. School/college life is another experience in life that you might want to go through. Enjoy it while it lasts.

Everyone has their own opinion about life. Do what makes you feel happy. Ask yourself what you want and be honest to yourself. Don't force yourself to do something just because other people are doing it. Just because so and so have travelled somewhere doesn't mean it's "cool" for you to do the same. They have their own life, you have your own life. Run your own life and do what makes you comfortable. We all have different goals in life here.

Another advice to you, teaching English in another country is a short term thing. Unless you think you'll become a teacher, don't get yourself into that. Anything more than 6 months and you'd be wasting your time.

Things change all the time, you're still young.

[ Edit: Edited at Oct 2, 2006 11:16 PM by jza80 ]

16. Posted by rama_h (Inactive 91 posts) 10y

Travel first... finish college later!!! I did, and look where it brings me!!! It really opened up my horizons and make me take a different step in life!!!

17. Posted by GregW (Travel Guru 2635 posts) 10y

Quoting T_I_N_A20

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.

Don't worry about that. If you go into Finance and don't like it, then just do something else. I'm over simplifying, but if there is one thing I could impart to those high school and college students who are stressed out about not knowing what they want to do with they life, it is to not stress about that.

Any decisions you make are not permanent. Most people nowadays change careers multiple times throughout their working lives.

18. Posted by JungleJano (Budding Member 54 posts) 10y

I'm doing it right now.

I just got home from Europe for 1 month, and I started working at a friend's bakery yesterday, where I'll be earning money until I go back to Honduras in January.

You've gotten a whole lot of really great advice in response to your question so far, I don't have too much else to add...

I will say that you need the ability to think outside the box to do this. I mean that once you step outside of the main stream of going straight from high school to college to work force---there's a bit of an extra current. You don't just glide along. But it's a fantastic thing. And you will learn so much about yourself, and the "real world" and meet people from so many different countries and backgrounds and ages and viewpoints etc etc....

I guess I have a lot to say on the matter, especially since I spent last year making the decision myself (as did a few of my friends, some of whom ended up deciding going straight to school was best for them)....

So if you want to talk to me about it any more, feel free to send me a message.

Good luck finishing high school! Enjoy it!

19. Posted by rainladle (First Time Poster 1 posts) 10y


just go for it.
i agree with all the go for it advice you've had...
one other thing, if people are urging you not to, think of this... have heard from many employers, including my own (boss of theatre), my dad (boss of market research company), and others that they would rather hire someone who has travelled because it shows initiative, independence and self motivation. Travelling will teach you amazing things.
Also urge you to go to university on your return because you will also learn so much, but i think travelling and learning makes you appreciate formal teaching in a different way.

all best

20. Posted by katy_laing (Budding Member 17 posts) 10y

I would definitely recommend it. Do not worry about finishing school late, etc. My philosophy is to always imagine life as if today were your last day. Do everything you want to do it as soon as possible. If you want to travel but really want to start studying soon, just travel a little and then get into it. Financially, maybe you could work for part of a year and save up some money? That's what I have done and it seems to have worked out wonderfully. It's also been great because unlike a lot of people, I have no idea what I want to study yet and I'd rather waste my time earning money and travelling then studying something which I may later regret.

But yeah. My advice is to really imagine life as if today were your last day. Sometimes it can put things really into perspective.