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College or Travel: The Great Debate



College or Travel The Great Debate

Photo by Matese Fields on Unsplash

Even with financial aid and scholarships, the cost of attending college continues to increase. And if you’re fresh out of high school, the idea of grappling with student loan debt can be frightening. These years are supposed to be the best years of your life and not ones filled with worry over finances. So, when it comes time to finally commit to making a decision, which way do you go? Do you enroll immediately after graduation, or do you hold off, travel and save up for a year? While neither choice is right or wrong, let’s look a little deeper.

Higher Education Offers Opportunity

Pursuing your degree offers a slew of benefits. In addition to helping prepare for life as an adult, it also improves your chances of landing your dream job. The competition for employment is at an all-time high, so having a degree can help you stand out. If you’re leaning more towards college, you should apply for scholarships.

There are websites where you can create a profile and then be matched for qualifying scholarships and grants. These can offset the cost of tuition significantly, and they don’t need to be paid back. Scholarships and grants are usually based on merit. It’s also important to note that while a lot of lucrative careers, like graphic design, don’t necessarily require a degree, but having one does show your passion for the field.

Travel is Invaluable

Just like the college experience, seeing the world can help you live a better life and is also invaluable. It teaches you how to be resourceful, boost independence and most importantly, helps you appreciate other cultures. Many people choose to take a gap year and travel internationally. A large percentage of people who take this route also become expats after completing their degrees as well.

You Can Have the Best of Both Worlds

We now live in an era where you can earn your degree and travel at the same time. If you’re torn between the two choices, you could consider attending an accredited online university. Even before the pandemic, many universities were transitioning to remote learning. Online learning also offers more flexibility in day-to-day activities. A lot of students attend online because they want to work during the day and study at night. This option works out well for students who are already in the workforce and want to further their education.

You Can Study Abroad

If you just can’t make up your mind, you could also consider studying internationally. There’s no shortage of universities overseas that offer courses in English. In fact, many of them also accept scholarships and grants awarded within the USA. Some of the top countries to consider are Italy, France, Spain and England.

Things to Consider

There really is no right or wrong whether you go to college immediately after graduation, take some time off or attend online, is a personal choice. In addition to the financial aspect, you need to do what feels right. You don’t need to travel abroad simply because your friends did it.

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