Having just turned 27 a few days ago, I've been reflecting on what I've done with my life. There are so many things that I thought I would have done by now: graduated college, started my adult career, and be a homeowner. Those things I can still do, and plan to, but there is something that I should have done years ago.
I wish that I would have taken a year off between high school and college.
You see, my first year of college was dismal. I was burned out from high school and I wasn't putting in the effort. I failed a few classes and was close to failing others. I prioritized social activities over everything else, especially my first semester. Being in St. Louis on my own was extremely exciting; I couldn't help but getting out to Cardinals games, Union Station, and the unforgettable Halloween Masquerade party inside one of the haunted houses. Then, when I came back home to KC, I was hanging out with my friends. I actually did better that semester, but I should have made the effort since I was paying them for my education.
If I had taken that year off, I would have done a couple things. First, I would have spent a half year working at a job and saving most of the money in a bank account. Then, I would have planned out an amazing vacation where I would have traveled to several places. I would have either stayed in the United States and visited all the major cities that I wanted to go to or I would have flown over to Europe and traveled through many countries. Just writing about this makes me want to do this now, but since I have a kid to take care of, I would probably only be able to do a vacation for a week (maybe two if I am lucky).
I think taking that year off would have significantly changed my attitude toward college and improved my grades. I may even already be a college graduate by now. It's a good thing that I'm still young and extremely goal-oriented so I can get back on track. Then, I could celebrate that with the big vacation I should have taken 8 years ago.