Summer After High School Can Transform your Entire Life
You are preparing to walk across your high school stage and graduate with your diploma. Your graduation date is looming and the college applications have finally been finished. Your summer is ahead of you, but you have no idea how to make it count! Worrying about entering college and being able to handle the change is making you stressed.
Sound familiar? The transition between high school and college can be an intimidating time for many. You are packing up your life and moving onto college classes and living with more responsibility than ever before. As you prepare to enter college, doubt about preparedness can turn a single summer into a time of confusion and frustration.
You could spend your summer worrying about what you are going to do to prepare for such a change, or...you could spend your summer completely shifting your worldview, learning new languages, and experiencing a rewarding and exhilarating adventure that prepares you directly for college or the job of your dreams! Summer is the perfect time to explore without commitment to school or responsibilities that come with being an adult. Studying abroad while you are young takes away the stress of trying to learn so many important life skills while also managing many other tasks and responsibilities.
Many students do not feel they have the skills to properly navigate such big changes directly after high school. However, there is an option that provides many valuable and tangible skills for both college and beyond - joining a study abroad program after high school could be the perfect fit for turning that transition period into one of growth and adventure! Here are a few ways study abroad programs after high school can shape you:
- Study abroad programs after high school provide independence.
When you study abroad, you will likely find yourself in a foreign country without a soul you know and no one around you to lead your decision making. One of the main problems students face when entering college is a lack of preparedness for being on their own and making decisions solely based on their own needs.
By having time away from the people you rely on, you learn to rely on yourself to make choices. Having time to develop independence during the summer allows you to enter college already having experienced personal decision making and life skills. Each and every situation you face allows you to become familiar with your instincts. This helps you grow into a more resilient and adaptable person!
- Study abroad programs after high school humanize.
Outside of the absolute fun you will have by studying abroad in high school, traveling to and experiencing cultures that differ from your own expands your mind to love more deeply and appreciate those around you. Travel teaches you to think beyond borders, race, or culture. You will gain an understanding of people by seeing how different all of us are, but mainly how much of the same qualities everyone on earth shares.
You will find yourself in situations where you meet many new people – asking for help, making small talk to the person next to you, or striking up a conversation with locals. These strangers can immediately turn into friends that provide companionship and become people who you can learn so much from!
- Study abroad programs after high school builds confidence.
Spending your summer deciphering a new language to order your favorite coffee, catching a tuk-tuk or taxi, and making new friends who live differently than you empowers you to be confident in yourself. Being in the world and practicing developing skills is the fastest way to grow in the assurance that you can handle any situation thrown at you. Exposing yourself to unknown challenges forces you to learn quickly and accurately. Once you have done this again and again, it becomes exciting to keep challenging yourself in new ways. There is nothing like being in a foreign country and knowing that the wild world we live in is a bit more manageable because you have learned to adapt well, no matter what problems may lie ahead.
- Study abroad programs after high school give you an edge.
Of all students in school, less than 2% take the opportunity to study abroad after high school. College and future job markets are challenging to navigate and it can be hard to stand out from your peers. By having the experience of traveling and learning in a foreign country under your belt, you are immediately going to stand out. Colleges and businesses understand how transformative studying abroad in high school is and seek out students who have taken that leap.
Personality development is one of the most important qualities of a student. By grasping a headstart in developing who you are, you are proving to potential mentors that you have what it takes to lead your future well.
- Study abroad programs after high school allow you to develop a passion.
Many of us enter into college or the workforce without an idea of what we want to study or pursue in life. Taking the time to step back from your everyday life to live adventurously and make a meaningful difference opens doors to things you might not have even thought were possible!
By spending time in a small city in South America or the African desert, you may realize you have a passion for helping people have a better quality of life and want to start a company or college degree that allows you to provide service to those in need. Your time in Western Europe could spark a desire to learn about historical events because you are walking the very ground where history took place! You never know what may ignite a fire in your soul and exploring the world and meeting locals going through all walks of life is a fantastic way to find out!
Taking the time to shift your focus from high school and prepare to enter into college benefits your mental health, personal growth, and gives you the preparedness to step into college with confidence and a renewed enthusiasm for learning. To gain the stories that others love to listen to and inspires them to go out and experience life! This time is not just a few months that you enjoy and forget about - the experiences you will have by studying abroad in summer before college are ones that you will carry with you always!
Make the most of your life while you are young! Taking a step outside of everything you are accustomed to can be nerve-wracking. But with the right high school study abroad program, you will find that the skills you will gain are far greater than any doubt you could have. Confidence, independence, passion, and a completely new mindset are only a taste of everything there is to experience. Once you step into a foreign country and see the possibility laid out before you, you will grow in ways that shape you into becoming a global citizen with a deeper appreciation and understanding of the world.
You can go forward into college with the confidence and capability to take on challenges both on campus and beyond. Are you ready to take a step into a summer that will transform your life?
Blog written by Catherine Gibson