What if you want to take a break between high school and college?

How about taking 1-2 years off, whatever you need to ensure you have the vision, money and other resources needed to launch into college successfully.

First, know that there is nothing unusual about you or your situation if you don’t know right now what you want to do.

Taking an education break can be a refreshing respite after years of classes, studying, homework, test taking, reading, writing, etc.

School can be overwhelming and pressure-filled for many students and taking a break can be a right fit decision.

Taking a break can also provide some much needed perspective for you and your family, as you have some time to step back and really review your options without that stress.

It can give you some time to get clear about what you really want to do. Because most students are often in the midst of college preparations while they’re still in high school, it often makes the planning process seem much bigger and more complex than it is. Time to plan without the added burden of taking tests, being assessed and making big decisions can make all the difference.

Another thing to consider is that student loan rates and college tuition is steadily rising. It may be a good idea to use this time to save money, search for scholarships and create a solid financial plan that won’t leave you with massive student loan debt when you graduate.

Plus, the student has time to be curious, explore and experiment.

Consider some activities that may facilitate your exploration and experimentation process:

  • Travel
  • Work Full-Time
  • Volunteer for a non profit organization in your community
  • Shadow a parent or friend of a parent who are doing what you think you might want to do
  • Prep for and conduct a few informational Interviews (come up with 20 great questions that will provide some insight into that career/position)
  • Take a college tour of your top three favorite colleges
  • Create a financial plan and save some money
  • Commit to searching for scholarships as a part-time job
  • Consider taking a gap year – visit com and the American Gap Association for more info about accredited programs like Outward Bound, Pacific Discovery and more with amazing short to longterm opportunities to travel, challenge yourself, build your self-confidence, deepen your empathy and compassion and more.
  • Visit uncollege.org for opportunities to help you explore for a semester or a year as an Uncollege Fellow.
  • Volunteer or work for AmeriCorps or the Peace Corps
  • Take some FREE or very affordable online courses from a variety of reputable organizations and well-respected universities and colleges:

There’s no limit to where your curiosity can take you to uncover how you really want to show up in the world, what lights you up and what you want to contribute. It just takes personal commitment on your part and the initiative and grit to roll up your sleeves and get busy.

So many students get stuck along different points of their college journey because they have no vision, no direction. They wander aimlessly, discouraged, often afraid and not quite sure how to ask for assistance.

You’ve got to have a vision of where you’re ultimately headed and know what you value so you can make solid choices aligned with who you are, how you want to show up and what you want to contribute. If you don’t do this work upfront, you may as well blindfold yourself, grab a handful of darts and start throwing. ​​

For another cool resource, check out James Altucher’s “40 Alternatives to College.”  He’s put together a great presentation of ideas, many of which you’ve probably never thought about.

Remember, if you decide to take a break between high school and college, use your time, energy and effort wisely. Take responsibility and be accountable for your planning process. If you maximize the opportunities available during your break, you’ll be better prepared to maximize your college experience!

Take a peek at RobbiCrawford.com where you’ll find a resource hub of freebies and paid services for students ready to play the college game smarter.

Sign up for an Introductory Consultation, available for students,  parents and caring advocates. Let’s discuss your biggest challenge right now and some next steps to get you moving in your desired direction. If you need additional support, we’ll create a plan tailored to your specific needs.

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