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Take a Trip before Your Freshman Year of College

After graduating from high school or earning your GED, it’s likely that you’re feeling a combination of excitement and pressure about the future. For many people, especially in these uncertain times, it can be a good idea to take a step back before making any decisions about career goals, your education, where you’ll live, the type of job you’ll want, and more. If you’re wondering what steps you should take before your freshman year of college, it could be a great idea to consider a trip. For just a few reasons why an extended trip and a gap year between graduation and your freshman year might be a great choice for you, read on.

Preventing Burnout


We are all living in uncertain times. It’s not unusual to be uncertain about the future in the middle of a global pandemic. On top of that, if you’re like most people, you’re experiencing pandemic fatigue and already experiencing lower energy levels than you did upon entering high school. Again, you are not alone. In fact, in the United States, more students than ever are considering taking gap years or using time after graduation to take extended trips. Postponing their first semesters, these students are seeing openings in a desperate job market and that there are many options when it comes to how to make a living. Maybe you’ve already met with UC Berkeley admissions and have your heart set on a specific major. For someone like you, taking advantage of a few online classes while taking a trip and delaying your full-time admission could be a great option. Not only will you have a chance to reflect on your goals, but you’ll be able to experiment with online learning and the advantages of learning on the road.

Becoming More Well-Rounded


Most college admissions officers will tell you that they look for students who are well-rounded. If you’re hoping to write a fantastic college admissions essay, taking a trip could be a great way to make a first impression. An essay on what you learned about American history and culture through your extended Mississippi vacation could be one way to show admissions officers that you’re eager to learn. Even if you opt to attend freshman year on time and are considering a shorter trip, your experiences outside your hometown will be a great way to get better prepared for the people you’ll meet on a college campus. The best campuses pride themselves on being diverse, and odds are that you’ll be meeting people from all over the world. Taking a trip now is a good way to begin to learn about people from other places. For students who take a gap year for travel, it’s not uncommon that they learn about passions they didn’t know they had before. Such a trip could be enough to get you to become focused on a targeted major, or even just enough to pick up a new hobby you’ll pursue in college.

Exploring Options


The truth is that the world is still in the middle of a global pandemic. More people than ever are taking the time to reassess their life choices and make big changes. If you’re not sure where to go next, you’re far from alone. Using a memorable trip between graduation and your freshman year of college might be a great way to get perspective, prevent burnout, have some fun, make memories, get a reset, and become more well-rounded. It might also mean beginning those classes in a time post-pandemic. Regardless of what you decide, weighing your options, considering trip destinations, and looking at the bigger picture is a fantastic way to make a decision you won’t forget. Happy travels to you and don’t forget to build some self-reflection time into that trip!