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A Seemingly Required Responsibility

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It seems like one of our responsibilities as a person is graduating high school and immediately going to college while also knowing exactly what our major is. Between pressure from parents and/ or society to know what you want to do with the rest of your life at only 17 or 18, it can be a hard thing to wrap your head around.
As a junior, I have a jist of what I want to do for my career, but classmates of mine do not. When someone asks them what they want to do for their life and they say “I don’t know”, they seem really disappointed in themselves. I say that they should not be.
Not everyone has had enough experience in their 17 years of living to know what they genuinely enjoy and what they are passionate about. Everyone has hobbies, but that could not be what they want to do for years on end. They want to keep their hobbies hobbies so that when they are working, those can be stress relievers instead of stress inducers.
I believe that taking a gap year or going to a community college can be a lifesaver for some people. Both can be beneficial for people with mental illness like depression, chronic stress, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. A gap year can help people learn coping mechanisms and how to start being independent without the pressure of schoolwork.
“I started to think of my gap year as an extraordinary opportunity, an opportunity to work towards being as mentally fit as I could be, so that when I did go to university, I could be successful,” Lauren Whiteway, a blogger from themighty.com, shares.

I started to think of my gap year as an extraordinary opportunity, an opportunity to work towards being as mentally fit as I could be, so that when I did go to university, I could be successful.”

— Lauren Whiteway

With community college, you can choose to be close to family while if you live by yourself you still have the choice to take part in larger social interactions outside of class. Both options can allow them the option of therapy and learn how to better cope with life if needed and find their passion before jumping into their major and a big university.
For people that don’t know what they want to do just yet, a gap year and community college can help them too. A gap year can allow people to take jobs and volunteer in things they are interested in and want to potentially pursue as a career. Community college can let people explore different possibilities for majors before going to a two to four-year university. It is also cheaper so students can work and save up money for university.
“I changed my whole career choice from one that could’ve ended in something that I wasn’t actually passionate about in the first place. I went from wanting to teach music to having a passion for writing online and now I’m doing it and loving it,” Matt Willard, a blogger from theodysseyonline.com, says.

I changed my whole career choice from one that could’ve ended in something that I wasn’t actually passionate about in the first place. I went from wanting to teach music to having a passion for writing online and now I’m doing it and loving it.”

— Matt Willard

I am not going to take a gap year and community college is not my in my first stack of cards, but if doing either of these options opens more doors and will make you more successful in the end, then I hope you take either into consideration. It is important to do your own research and think about how this would affect you (I personally recommend pro con lists), but mental health and self trust are just as important as education.

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