Interested in a gap or sabbatical year while still moving forward with your education? There’s a way to do that. Gap years are useful if you choose wisely on something that will enrich your life, expand your horizons, or make you a better person. Perhaps you need to take a breath between high school and college, or want to take a dream trip backpacking through Europe, enroll in an intensive Spanish program in Costa Rica, try your hand at being a dancer on Broadway, wander the National Parks in the U.S., or WWOOF through Canada.
Here’s a not so big secret that the big universities and colleges don’t exactly advertise: those first couple of years of college everyone is learning the same general education courses. Whether you’re testing out of classes, enrolled at a junior college, or going to an Ivy League – Introduction to Business will be teaching the same concepts. You don’t have to lag behind classmates while exploring what it is that makes you tick. If you’re looking to pursue a dream that makes the rigors of the traditional academic environment (set schedules) a stressful proposition, there is another way.
Consider testing out of some of the classes for college. Is it easier to test out of classes? No. It’s more convenient, but not easier. With no due dates imposed by an outside authoritative source you’ll need to have a fair amount of self-drive to be successful, and confirm with your college the test you’re taking is accepted. Testing out takes the same level of effort as enrolling and passing that class. Accredited institutions accept these courses in lieu of taking the class. If it isn’t easier than why? To avoid location restrictions, ease economic stress, and avoid banter between classmates and professors. If you are looking for a break from the rigors of a set schedule, but not at the expense of your education, then consider testing out of the basics. Education is and important tool for opening doors of opportunity. However, a traditional college setting isn’t the only type of education out there. What is a more interesting way to spend a life? Within the walls of a respected institution exploring theoretical concepts, or in the world exploring a bit on your own?