When I was 15 and a Sophomore in high school, I wanted out. I didn’t have many friends and I always felt like a goofy outcast. I just couldn’t visualize any future in my small New York suburb high school. And I always thought to myself, “I never signed up for this, so why the hell am I here?”
So I would dream away math classes studying the miniature world map found in my homework organizer. I envisioned the countless different lives other 15 year olds where living around the world. I craved the possibilities inherent to travel but I didn’t think I had any options. A year later, I ran away from home.
If I had known then all the possibilities I know today, there’s a good chance I would have never run away in the first place.
There are countless high school exchanges, summer abroad programs, volunteer opportunities and even high schools on ships that travel around the world to choose from.
If you’re in high school, feel the same way I did, and are ready to ‘run away’, the following guide is for you.
The Pros & Cons Of ‘Running Away’ During High School
Before you ‘run away’ during high school, below are a few of the pros and cons you should consider.
1) Whichever program you choose, your experience abroad will undoubtedly contribute to your future. Many programs offer credit and even if they don’t, colleges still look highly upon students who forge their own path and travel abroad.
2) If you run away with a program instead of on your own, you’ll get to meet and travel with a group of likeminded people and probably make friends for life.
3) You won’t worry your friends and family to death.
4) You’ll get the chance to explore the world away from the pressures of home.
1) You won’t be completely free as you’ll have to abide by some program restrictions.
2) You’ll miss out on regular high school experience i.e/Prom
3) Some of these programs can be expensive and will put you and your parents into debt. Check out, Scholarship Opportunities For High School Students.
If you ask me, the choice is simple. If you can find the money, then you should go for it. Even if you can’t, you should try and save up, appeal to your relatives, find scholarships and make it happen. There is no better education for the mind and soul than travel. And there’s nothing more enlightening and perspective altering than traveling when you’re young.