Every student goes through this situation. Students are put in a tough spot at a young age of 17-19 years to decide for themselves .This decision in their life can be highly stressful which can lead to both positive and negative outputs. Only a few students have the clarity of choice before they go to college. Recent studies have shown a dropout rate of 40% in USA. This dropout rate can be due to various reasons but dissatisfaction with a course is a prominent problem among youth. This issue can be a cause of students not understanding the course well before entering college. Taking an year off can help students have a clear knowledge about what they want to do with a college degree and motivate them to graduate. Let’s see is taking a year off before college bad?
No, taking a year off before college is not bad. It can help form a more clear perspective on what you would like to do in your future instead of rushing to conclusions too soon.
There are some questions you need to ask yourself before doing this:
- What will I do in my year off?
- How will it help me improve myself?
- Why am I taking this year off?
- How will it help with skill development?
For some, taking a year off may not just be about upskilling. It can be due to psychological, physical, financial or familial issues.
If you are taking an off due to some kind of mental health problems you are doing the right thing because of the following reasons:
- College can be stressful at times.
- Assignments, tests, lectures, seminars, projects etc. can elevate your problem.
- Coping with peer pressure can be hard.
- In case you don’t perform adequately you may start to lose your self-esteem.
- If you are going to live on your own it might get lonely.
- If you decide to live with friends there can be disagreements and adjustment related issues can arise.
It becomes necessary to address your issues before going to college. College is all fun and games till you go in. It can be depressing at times. Sometimes the only person who’ll look out for you has to be you.
If you are going through some kind of physical impairment that can or cannot be restored you can think about college in the year off keeping the following things in mind:
- If your ailment can be cured:
- Take time to completely heal.
- Restore your physical stamina.
- Don’t rush to conclusions on your own, take your doctor’s support.
- Try to recover mentally from your wound.
- If your ailment cannot be cured:
- Don’t lose hope.
- Search for colleges that provide better facilities for people with your ailment so that going to college is not difficult.
- Try to find a suitable course for yourself [Remember: You are capable to do anything but don’t pressure yourself to do things that can drain the optimism in you]
Physical impairments can be more draining mentally. You need to give yourself the rest you desire because college can be a huge challenge.
Finance can be a big problem for a lot of students. If this is one of yours you can do the following things:
- Try to find a job in your free time and save up.
- Look for a scholarship.
- Study for a scholarship.
- Look for student loans.
- Apply to colleges that support students from low-income backgrounds.
- Try to look for a degree from another country. Some countries provide free education with living costs and stipends to students from low-income backgrounds.
Families can have a great impact on your choice of colleges. This can cause a huge rift between parents and children due to differences in the choice of career.
+What to do if your parents don’t support your career option:
- In your time off try to take an activity similar to your undergraduate course and see if you are into it or not.
- If you are genuinely interested in the course try similar activities in your year off.
- Try to consider your parent’s choice by weighing the pros and cons [ Remember: Your opinion matters most. ]
- If you consider your parent’s choice be sure that you are not pressurizing yourself into it and have developed your interest in it.
- Try to convince your parents by showing them a vision plan which depicts what you would like to achieve through the course.
- Solve this rift by getting a third-person opinion who can give an unbiased opinion.
College is no fun until your family approves of your choices. But that doesn’t mean you have to give in to their stubbornness. Try to give a fair trial to your parent’s choice but make sure to let them know where your interest lies.
Don’t know what to do in your year off
Here are some ideas that can help you:
- Learn a new language
- Do volunteer work.
- If you have the means, visit a new country and discover their culture.
- Try a sport.
- Learn a new instrument.
- Try to do a part-time job that may give you an insight into the course of your choice.
- Search for options abroad. International studies can provide a wider horizon for your career.
- Look into colleges and courses that interest you.
- Try to develop your interest by reading books from various fields.
- Refine your soft skills in your free time.
- Study for SAT.
- Talk to people who can give you the insight to choose a career.
- Talk to friends who have a similar inclination as you.
Taking a year off is not a bad idea at all. It can save you from regretting your decision in the future. People are made from the choices in their lifetime so why not make the right ones.