So you’ve decided not to go to college in the fall and it’s already almost August. Guess what? I did the same thing and I’m completely fine. Wipe those stress tears away; I promise that not nearly as many people as you think are going to be so utterly, life-shatteringly disappointed that you won’t be able to move on in life. Now, I’m not saying that some people won’t be upset with your decision. But, that’s the thing. It’s your decision. I’m sure that one or both of your parents are on your side, otherwise you probably wouldn’t have made this decision so we’re going to skip that step.

While I lost the support of one of my parents both because I decided to take a gap year and because I came out as queer, that is not the case for most people. In fact, most people have the support that I had from my mom, who actually encouraged me to take a gap year in order to figure my life out. It is important however to speak to your parents about your feelings and why you feel it would be detrimental for you to attend a four-year university or college right after high school. Parents want the best for you and while some parents believe that the best is going to college, most will understand if you allow them to. Make sure that they know you plan on attending college still, just not right away.

Why did you make this decision? Is it because you didn’t get into the school that you wanted to or decided last minute that the schools you got into weren’t for you? If either one is the case, keep in mind that you will probably be reapplying to schools in the fall. That means that you need to keep as active as possible in order to ensure that you are still a desirable, if not more desirable, candidate. If you want to get into better schools, make sure you take a good amount (3-5 per semester) of classes at a community college and make sure you keep your grades up. If you are going to go that route, make sure you make a list of schools early on in the year so that you are familiar with their transfer requirements and make sure your community college counselor is aware of your goals. Community colleges tend to have lots of clubs and organizations that you can get involved with so make sure you pick a few or join groups within your community. It’s also a good idea to get some sort of job in order to prove that you can be self-sufficient. Plus then you have your own spending money that you can save for when you go off to college.

If you got into schools that were academically rigorous enough for you but you just didn’t apply to the ones you wanted to, make sure that you still stay active by volunteering, working , traveling or doing something else. Maybe you can travel with a gap year program, travel on your own, move across the country for a year, or keep active while staying at home.  Get involved with things you’re passionate about and what you want to do with your time in college (and possibly your life) will just hit you on the head. Whatever you choose to do this next year, though, make sue you keep an eye on deadlines for college apps because they come up faster than you think, especially when you are doing something that you are passionate about.

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