College education and the experience that comes with it is essential to many lives, but when is the right time to attend a college or university?
For me, it was almost an entire year after I graduated from high school. My graduation was not typical. My credits were accounted for in October of my senior year and I stopped going to school after that to start preparing for postsecondary education.
A portion of that time was spent working and saving money to pay for classes and textbooks. I knew college was a pricey gig and it felt necessary to have a little safety budget as an emergency blanket in case I got myself into financial trouble.
While the money I had was nice and helpful, the jobs I held were much more enticing for my future lifestyle. I learned a lot about being an adult and showing responsibility for my actions. There was the feeling of, “oh my parents can’t really save me from this” if I ever got in trouble. I was forced to grow as a person.
Along with the responsibility for myself, I also took on a bigger role in the lives of my family and friends. I was able to help get my little brother up for school every morning and pack his lunch. I was able to do more with all my siblings, from going to movies and special sibling dinner nights, to going to their events and showcases for school. We were able to get closer before I came to Utah State University Eastern.
I saw my friends more often because I was more in control of my schedule than a typical high school student would be. I gained enough traction with one of my employers that they allowed my good friend to work with me at one of the jobs I had during that year-long gap.
Taking a year off before coming to school was beneficial for me. I learned, grew and gained responsibility for myself and my actions. If you are thinking about taking a year for yourself before packing up and going to school, I wholeheartedly recommend it.
You’ll have some interesting times and even some hard ones, but ultimately you’ll get the chance to grow up just enough to be a crazy college student.