Going to College is a Choice

A year ago, I was at my desk, huddled under a blanket (the heater in my boarding house broke) and looking at colleges on my laptop. I had about 20 different tabs open, with colleges from Hong Kong to England to France. Most of my classmates had either already applied to colleges or knew what they wanted to do instead. Deadlines were looming, I still hadn’t signed up for Common App and my parents were absolutely no help (“Just study in Germany!”). I didn’t want to study in Germany, but I also didn’t know what I wanted to do instead. Going to college seemed like the obvious next step – if everyone else was doing it, why shouldn’t I? The future seemed scary and invincible and up until that moment, I had always thought that I had to go to college, that I had to have everything figured out, and that I had to have my 10 year plan written up already.

Suddenly, it hit me that going to college was a choice. Everyone had always made it seem like a requirement, a checkmark on your life’s to-do list. All of the pressure brought on by applications and deadlines suddenly fell off my shoulders – I felt free. I don’t have to make this decision today, in fact, I am not even qualified to make this decision, I told myself. At that moment, the future stopped seeming scary and was filled with opportunity instead. That’s when I realized that not having a plan was actually a gift, because it meant that I could pursue my interests with reckless abandon.

This gap year has been the best decision of my life so far. I still haven’t decided if I am going to college, but I am sure that I will figure it out. I am no longer scared.

This quick little inbetween post was inspired by a prompt by the Daily Prompt.



  1. I wish I had that epiphany! I’m almost 27 years old and I’m starting college for a second time in 17 days. I feel like, as you said, people put too much pressure on you to go to college at 17 and 18 and you’re not even old enough or know yourself well enough to be making life decisions like that. Kudos to you for figuring that out and being above the pressure that is college!


  2. When I explain the concept of my gap year to people, I often get very similar reactions 🙂 I am really interested in your story though! Why did you drop out of college in the first place? And what made you go back?


  3. I really love this! I may currently be in college, but I’m excited I found you! I found you from concentrateonyourself’s leibster post. Absolutely awesome blog and I’m excited to be your newest follower 🙂
    stop by for a visit anytime at takenbythelapels.wordpress.com (that’s me 🙂


  4. It sounds magnificent. If only more people could appreciate the moment, they’d be so much more satisfied than they are!


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