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In 2016, 69.7 percent of high school graduates in the United States headed straight to college after summer vacation, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, because attending college directly after high school is not for everyone. Some students are tired of school or never really enjoyed it in the first place and others may want a break before they return to full-time education. Furthermore, for some high school graduates, working instead of attending college is a monetary decision. There are several reasons why waiting on college can be a good idea.

Earn Money Instead of Spending It

Taking a year or two off to work and save money, especially if you're able to remain living for free with your parents, can be a very wise idea.

Gain Independence

Earning your own money is a great way to learn how to manage it and managing your own money is one of the first paths to independence. If you live on your own while you work, you'll gain even more life skills, including paying rent, paying utilities, buying your own groceries, gas and more.

Learn to Appreciate School

Most kids who finish up their 12 mandatory years of school are pretty sick of it by the time they graduate. Taking a year or more to work can really help you value your college education and a year away from school can make the heart grow fonder of thinking and learning.

Gain Life Experience

College is a fairly sheltered environment and oftentimes you end up hanging around with the same types of people you knew in high school. Work, on the other hand, can expose you to a wider range of people. The ages, socioeconomic backgrounds and hopes and dreams of your coworkers will be quite different than your own, and this is a good thing. It won't hurt to bring a bit more life knowledge to college, when you do decide to attend.

Put More Thought into Your Future Career

Many kids arrive at college and immediately have to decide on a major field of study but having a major from the start will help you to graduate on time and get the classes that you need. You'll also have time to do a bit of research on different professions or maybe even secure a paid internship at a company to find out what type of work you'd like to do.

Decide if School Is the Right Path for You

It's possible you'll like working so much more than being in school that you decide to forgo college altogether. Some companies offer apprenticeships, and some professions favor work experience much more than a degree. Besides, you can always change your mind later on and attend a university. College isn't going anywhere.

  • Provide youth with professional level cover letters and resumes needed to secure job placements

  • Offer youth “soft skill” lessons that focus on interviewing skills and professional conduct.

  • Keep youth abreast of career opportunities

  • Identify certifications available that will enhance skills and resume.

  • Provide computers and assistance to fill out job applications and professional interview attire

  • Show you how to take deep breath when you become overwhelmed by the whole process

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