Are you a young person right in the middle of university or college? Are you feeling fed up with all the exams, the endless papers to write and the constant busyness and chaos of it all? Feeling like you’re going no where and like you’re wasting your time? Do you wish you could just abandon it all and take off into the sun, get on a plane and just go? Trust me I’ve been there many times! If I had a dollar for every time I wanted to drop out of school I’d have enough money to fund a one year round the world trip!
This is not going to be a post on 10 ways to drop out of school and travel the world. Everyone reading this comes from different backgrounds and is at different places in their life. I feel I’m not in a place to advise anyone whether or not they should drop out of school. We all need to, as much as we don’t want to, make these kinds of decisions for ourselves. Instead I want to tell you my situation and what has worked for me. As well I will link to some post from other travel bloggers which I think present a real well balanced approach to this question that I know a lot of us ask in our 20’s and even 30’s.
My Experience – How I Answered This Question for Myself
So in 2012 when I was almost 27 years old I went back to school. I enrolled in a music program at a local bible college. On many levels it was an awesome experience. I met people, grew as a musician and person, I was mentored and poured into by some amazing teachers. The biggest thing that school taught me was how to be disciplined and stick through and persevere even when I didn’t feel like it. There were many days I wanted to just quit school! I was tired of all the tests, papers, exams, traveling so far to get to school (my commute took 1.45 hrs one way). I felt like there was so much more out there for me than just sitting in a class room while the world went by around me. I felt trapped in a life I didn’t want. At least that’s what I thought at one point.
I had endless talks with my parents, select friends, classmates and some of my teachers. Most encouraged me to stick with the program and finish what I started. Some people said it was up to me to make the choice. That there was no right or wrong answer. So after much struggle and debating back and forth. I decided to stay in school and finish the program. I will be finishing my program and graduating this year 2016 -fingers crossed. It was not an easy decision but I decided to stick with it. I now look back and I am glad that I did. School if we’re taking it for the right reasons can be a full, rich and rewarding experience. It comes with its challenges and trials but these help prepare us for the future and make us stronger. I feel my almost 4 years in school have been a time of training for me. I am much more ready and prepared for the future and next steps than I was before I started.
My time in school taught me more than just what I read in the books, the assignments I completed an the exams I took. I learned that I have what it takes to persevere and see something to completion. In life whether it be work, school, a creative project, a long term relationship or long term travel, takes perseverance. What will we do when all the butterflies go away when the pressure is on and we have no strength left? When trials and hard times hit us will we throw in the towel and quit or will we press in and keep going forward. If I have got nothing else out of school then its this lesson – to never give up!!
When I look back on the whole experience, the people I encouraged, the people who encouraged me, the lessons learned I can smile and all the stresses just melt away. Some of my favourite memories include being roommates with Eva when I lived on campus for a semester, the time my classmate Makayla did a photo shoot for me, the countless people who mentored, encouraged me to keep me going and my music teachers that poured their time and talent into me. These things make it all worth the trials it brought.
You Can Travel and Do School at the Same Time!
There’s nothing that says you can’t travel and do school at the same time. Its not an either or situation. You can have both! In the past 4 years I have managed to travel and go to school as well as juggling a part time job. I traveled during my summer breaks. I managed to go to China for 3.5 weeks during summer 2014 and last summer 2015 I did a 5 week travel/music tour by train across Canada. I have managed to get away to some great local places like Bowen Island, the Sunshine Coast and Tofino on Vancouver Island. Last year I visited Saskatchewan several times. My dear readers it is possible if you save and plan! There is also the option to study or work abroad for a semester or more. Many schools have their own study abroad programs Check out Kay’s travel blog the Kay Days. She has managed to travel and pursue college at the same time. She gives lots of tips on budgeting, saving and how this can be done.
Some other great posts to read on the subject are Should You Quit School to Travel the World? by Amanda Williams, Why You Should Not Drop Out of College to Travel by Stephanie Yoder and Should You Drop Out of School to Travel? by Rachel Jones.
I hope this post has helped inspire you and give you some food for thought. There is no right or wrong answer. You can have the best of both worlds. Please leave a comment and let me know your thoughts on the matter. What do you think, Should you drop out of school to travel? Why or why not?