As young people we are told from a very young age that getting a Post Secondary education is important, necessary and most significantly, non-negotiable. We are conditioned by society to believe that Univeristy or College is the only option if we want to become achieving and successful adults, and that classroom environments will teach us everything we need to know about life.
I actually love school, I always have. I love learning, I love books and one of my long term goals is to teach at either the high school or college level. However, I honestly believe that school isn't for everyone. And I know for sure that you won't learn everything you need to know about life in a classroom.
When I say: "everything you need to know", I'm not talking about mundane things like how to do your taxes or budget your money. Which ironically you can't actually learn how to do at University either. I am speaking from a more emotional place: about figuring out who you are why you're here. An important part when it comes to planning your future, but one that school won't help you with.
I am one of those people who has a very clear academic path. I know exactly what I want to study, why I want to study it and where. But I thought that taking a gap year would be a great opportunity to let that information stew. To grow up a little bit and to learn some new things so that when I do decide to go to school, I am really ready and am sure that I want to be there. There are so many things that I want to do and if I don't take the time to do them now, who knows when I will have the opportunity.
School takes up a lot of time and energy. So if you don't know exactly what you're working towards, it might not be the best place for you and a gap year could be a great option. If you are like me and know what you want to do, a gap year could still be a good idea. Don't spend your time at a place if you don't want to be there or if you don't know why you're there. If you are sitting and suffering through Statistics 101 because it's one of your nursing requirements, awesome. If you are sitting and suffering through Canadian History before 1929 because you think you should, time to make a change.
During my gap year I plan on making a fool on myself on the daily. I want to feel uncomfortable at drop in yoga classes and embarrass myself in dance classes. I want to teach myself how to use Final Cut Pro and learn how to cook meals for one. I plan on learning the rules of baseball and finally finish that book I've been reading for a year and a half. I want to save a ton of money so that when I go to school I don't have to take out massive student loans. Even if that means I can travel to New York or the Bahamas. I want to spend time with my younger brother before he gets too old and too cool for me.
Just don't think that you have to be in school and don't let people tell you that it is wrong if you decide to take a break from school. Or even if you decide not to go to school at all. Who knows? Maybe there are people out there right now doing exactly what you're meant to be doing who didn't sell their kidneys to go to university. Like I said already, school is not for everyone. The most important lessons you'll learn and experiences you'll have in your lifetime will be far away from a classroom.
University is not going anywhere. But the time to not be in school is also not going anywhere. So whether you're in it or you're not...it's your life. Don't let other people live it for you.
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