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College Life/Going out of state


For a few years now I have really wanted to go to school out of state. now it's my senior year and I've been working on the application process, I feel very overwhelmed with everything that needs to be done by the first of January. I admit that I was pretty late getting started because I haven't received much help at all from my high school and I am a first generation college student so my parents are just as lost as I was. A few of the schools that I'm applying to are pretty selective, and I have a good ACT score but never got the chance to take the SAT. I used to feel pretty prepared about going off to school far away,  but this whole process has made me feel like I'm not ready at all. Although I'm still somewhat anxious to get away from home, I find the idea of applying and committing to a school very daunting. How am I supposed to know where I will be happy for four years?  On top of that, I don't have any work experience...or money. Would it be a stupid idea to take a gap year before going to college?  Previously I had said I definitely wasn't going to do that, but lately I'm becoming more and more convinced it might work for me. I just don't want to end up regretting the decision as all of my friends go off to school. I don't want to make this choice based on having cold feet. my parents both support a gap year (my sister took one in order to work and get a car/driver's license and become certain of what she wanted to do) but I don't think my extended family would be as supportive and others at my school may not understand.

Thank you for your time and effort Iinto answering my question.

A gap year is a GREAT idea.  After you get your college acceptance letters, visit them in person, spend 24-48 hours on campus, and choose one.  Then tell them you want a one-year deferral for a gap year.  Almost every college will defer your admission by one year.

Use this year to figure out what career/job you like.  This way you won't spend 4 years in college studying (for example) archaeology, only to discover that you are allergic to dust and thus a career in a dusty museum isn't practical.  Or spend 4 years in college, then 4 years in medical school to discover (as happened to a friend of mine) that you can't stand being around sick people who complain of their symptoms.

Another advantage of a gap year is it will allow you to save money and develop living skills, such as learning to cook, do your own laundry, manage your own money, and all the other skills you need to live on your own in the future.  

Hope this helps, and good luck!  

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Sue Kayton


Ask me about nuts-and-bolts information, such as going out-of-state for college, dorm life, handling stress, how to handle bank transfers, credit cards, etc.


Both of my kids went away to college, so I've been there and done that. Check out my website before asking a question, please, since your answer may already be posted.

Graduated MIT, and so did my son. My daughter is at UC Berkeley.

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