Teenager Wants to Know if It’s Advisable to Delay College

Do you think it's wise to take a year off after graduating from high school? I've told my parents that I don't want to enroll in college until next fall, but they have doubts about my plan. They're concerned that I'll lose momentum, and they're also worried about my health insurance coverage. What do you think I should do?

We don’t know you and your circumstances as well as your mom and dad do, and in any case it’s not our place to contradict their advice. Your parents’ practical concerns are entirely reasonable, and we think you’d be wise to give them some serious consideration before making your final decision. But in the end that decision has to be yours. All to say that, provided you can sit down with your parents and work out some mutually satisfactory solutions to the problems they’ve identified, we see no reason why you shouldn’t pursue your desire to take a year off from school.

We’d even suggest that there are a number of constructive ways you can use the time. You can work in order to earn a portion of your college tuition. You can expand and build upon your formal education by traveling or getting involved with community service. You can spend some time thinking about life, pondering your goals, and figuring out what you want to study in college. All of this can be an important part of growing up and becoming the person God is calling you to be. As for “losing momentum,” we suspect that you’ll be even more motivated to dive into your studies after a year-long break. Once you start looking around out in the “real” world, it won’t take you long to realize that there aren’t many career choices open to a young person without a college degree.

In light of what you’ve told us about yourself, we can’t help feeling that the Lord has a bright future ahead for you (see Jeremiah 29:11). The key to discovering this for yourself is to place your life in His hands and allow Him to lead you forward one step at a time. Remember, there are many successful people in the world who didn’t go to college right out of high school – there is no single plan that God expects everyone to follow, no single pattern designed to fit every individual life. If you’d like to discuss these ideas further with a member of our staff, call our Counseling department. A member of our team would be more than happy to speak with you over the phone.


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