If there is one thing that I would recommend to everyone is to take a gap year. Take one year off of school and take some time to explore the world and yourself.
Let me tell you something: You have all the time in the world!!! You have all the time in the world to go to college, go to grad school, get your first job. You have time! but how much time will you have once you are doing one of those things to actually do something that you want to do? How much time will you have to travel and discover a new place? You won’t. So do it before, now that you have time to do it all, now that you are still young and adventurous just go for it.
Why would I recommend putting off college or grad school for a year in order to take a gap year? Because I have done it and it was the best decision I have ever made!! I took a gap year straight out of high school, College could wait. My desire to go ahead and travel could not. Not only was it the best decision I have ever made because I got to travel and live in the country that I had always wanted to live in: the US but I also got to meet so many persons that have had such an important impact on my life and myself as a person. I have also discovered so many places that I have loved to learn about and share with others later on. Last but not least, I have discovered so much about myself too.
I have gone through so much more in that one year of my life than in all the 18 years before it. Maybe I think that because I had to face it all by myself since neither my friends nor parents were here to help me go through some of those hard time. I have discovered that I was capable of so much more than I thought and that people around me were willing, wanted even, to help if only I asked for it. I grew up so much in those 10 months away from my small town in Normandy France, away from my home, my parents, my family, and my friends. I grew up, I became more independent, I made new friends, I became a part of a new family and I discovered what I really wanted to do next. I put College on the side for a year but I came back with a plan, knowing what I wanted to do in College, where I wanted to go study and was now sure that no matter what I would be able to do whatever it is that I wanted to do next.
A Gap year is not a year wasted, it’s not a vacation, it’s not slacking off. It’s earning in a different way, learning more than anything that you could learn in school, It’s an advantage for your future. It’s worth it.