Say you’re 18 years
old. You’ve just graduated from high school, and you’ve been accepted to one of the top universities of your
country — a university which, by the way, is happy to defer your admission for a year. You also
happen to have saved up quite a lot of money from working at your part-time job all through high school. You now
have a decision to make: do you go straight to university and get started on your career, or do you take a year
to backpack all around the world, first?
More and more, high school graduates are grappling with this
decision — and Rolf Potts, of
Yahoo! News Travel, helps one such graduate tackle this question. As for me, I went straight to university —
but it’s a decision that I sometimes question. Rightly or wrongly, it was my perception that most American
universities wouldn’t look kindly upon a highschooler taking a year off to travel; and yet, I also felt the opposite
would’ve probably been true had I chosen to attend university in Europe. (Of course, things have changed
considerably in the 20-odd years it’s been since I graduated high school!)
What do you think — if you could
do it all over again, would you travel first, or go to college first? What would you encourage your kids to do?