Last Updated on 27th January 2017 by Sophie Nadeau
Study or travel? Well, first things first: some of the most inspiring people in my life didn’t even go to university. If I’m honest with you, they didn’t even do well in high school. One of them flat out failed at the ‘important‘ subjects. And that’s because of one simple fact: the path to ‘success’ in life (if it’s even definable) has nothing to do with a piece of paper.
For months and months I’ve been thinking hard and long about a choice I have to make: Do I quit school and pursue my dreams or do I go back and finish my studies? Do I move away from France to London in order to finish my studies or do I quit school and find a full time gig in France to tide me over while I figure out what to do? Besides, I’ve made no secret that I’ve never been so happy as I’ve been in France (you know, despite London being lovely and all)…
So… Study or Travel?
Well, I can tell you, it’s not been an easy choice to make. Every ounce of me is screaming to quit school, follow my dreams and ignore the potential consequences. The prospect of losing another year on something I’m not particularly passionate about and spending vast amounts of money on finishing my education (in the U.K. you have to pay for school. You have to pay a lot for school) is definitely not appealing.
I honestly wish I were brave (or stupid?- I don’t know?) enough to sit here and say ‘I’m quitting school and not looking back‘. I’ve spent hours reading articles by various people who quit school and followed what made them happy. But I just can’t. Something in my gut is telling me to stick with it and get that degree. Besides, I have a feeling I’m going to need it….
So should I study or travel? Well, if I really can’t stick it out, then at the end of the day a degree is just a piece of paper and nothing more. It’s a tool that you can use and that’s it. Besides, travel gives you just as many tools, albeit different.
So you’re thinking about quitting university (or not going)?
Well, there are pros and cons to both. If you’re really not sure, before taking the plunge, I definitely recommend taking a gap year! I can’t recommend it enough… This should definitely help you clear your mind and will enable you enough time to think things through:
- Study or Travel (aka School of life vs school of academia). If you do decide to take the ‘plunge’ and travel, then you’ll get just as many different tools. They’ll just be different. And different doesn’t necessarily mean difficult or bad…
- Think about what you want to do (like, seriously). There are things that you’re always going to need a degree for: dentist, doctor, lawyer, etc. If you genuinely want to pursue one of these professions but are thinking about not going to school, how serious are you about actually wanting to be a medic etc.?
- Think about the cost. If you’re studying higher education in many countries (such as the U.S.A., U.K. or Canada), then chances are, you’ll be forking out a lot of money! Make sure you choose something you’ll not only enjoy, but you think will stand you in good stead for the future. When I first started university, I was seriously considering becoming an auctioneer. Obviously I’m no longer considering this (hence study or travel?) But at the time, a degree was the right thing to pursue!
But, what happens if I want to study AND travel?
Well, good news! We are in the 21st century after all…
If you really want to travel and study, then make sure to find a course where you can combine the two. There are plenty of schemes and university courses that will allow you to combine the two. Just make sure that you make yourself return to finish your degree in your home country at the end!