Mon. Jan 25th, 2021

The Blue & Gray Press

The University of Mary Washington Student Newspaper

The workforce can wait: why college seniors should consider post-graduation travel

3 min read
By ISABEL FAUST “Congrats,” “Make the Most of it,” and “Have Fun,” are all phrases I have heard over and over at my high school graduation, along with, “college will be the best four years of your life.”

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“Congrats,” “Make the Most of it,” and “Have Fun,” are all phrases I have heard over and over at my high school graduation, along with, “college will be the best four years of your life.”

In today’s society, so much emphasis is put on what you do during your college years and the memories you make. Of course, I still want my college experience to be fun and enjoyable, but if my “best four years of life” occur while I am at college then that is just depressing. I hope to get married one day, have kids, travel and have more than just four great years.

The main reason why people go to college is so that they can get a job, and more importantly, a job that they like. For some people, their dream job does not require college – more power to you.

So many young people feel the pressure to scramble for a job immediately out of college, and if they do not, they are considered “lazy” or said to be “falling behind.” I do not think you should feel pressure to immediately find a job. If you want to work, then work. If you want to travel, then travel. I will probably end up trying to find a job right out of college because I will not have the money to travel, but as soon as I do, I want to travel.

I am in good health, I do not have any roots, and for me, I feel that the phrase, “I’m waiting for the right time,” only misleads people. There will never be a perfect time for everything, so you should just go for it.

Sure, getting a job right out of college has perks including a dependable income, new acquaintances and receiving the opportunity to apply what you worked so hard to learn in college. But taking a year off to travel, either before or after graduate school can also be very educational and eye-opening.

Chloe Morton, a sophomore chemistry major, agrees, stating, “I want to see and meet people from all different cultures and societies. I believe that learning about other cultures is the only way to make progress with the world and to improve relations with other people and with other countries.”

And if you need further convincing, travel can also help further your search for a job. Morton said, “[traveling] will help with any government or international job, you would have experience with non-Americans and foreign communications.”

Not only does traveling open up doors for education and international jobs, but it can also increase one’s cultural awareness. This is vital, not just as a young member of society looking to join the workforce, but also as a human. So many young people are extremely uneducated about the world around them, different cultures, where and how products from different parts of the world are produced and even the world’s geography.

I’m taking Intro to Human Geography and was astounded at the number of students who did not know basic world geography. I think traveling, whether you do it during high school, after college or as you cross the last couple of things off your bucket list, is vitally important in order to experience all life has to offer.

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