Sophia Meador, Opinions Editor

Most high school students believe there are only two options after graduation: Go to college or find a job.

At least, that’s what I thought. I’ve spent the better part of 21 years in the confines of a classroom with teachers and professors guiding my coursework. There have been few opportunities outside the world of school and few opportunities to learn and make mistakes on my own accord.

As a junior in college, I’ve started to look at career paths to pursue post-graduation. While doing the standard job search, I can’t help but think I missed out on other opportunities.

For instance, I love to travel but can only do so on a budget. But there are other opportunities abroad that are paid for, like nannying, working in a hostel, or seasonal farming. These jobs are not careers I would do forever, but they would be rewarding as a young tourist.

I also believe taking a gap year could have given me a better understanding of my long-term career plans.

I went into my freshman year as a journalism and mass communications major because I was active in my high school yearbook. I understand the world better because of my majors, but I don’t feel any more confident in what I want to do long-term than I did as a freshman.

Taking a gap year — or multiple years — would have given me more time to consider what path to pursue. Who knows, I could have ended up doing something completely different with my life.

Columns reflect the opinions of the authors and are not necessarily those of the Editorial Board, The Daily Iowan, or other organizations in which the author may be involved.