Dear Annie: I’m a college student in a small town. I get good grades, have a terrific job and plan to attend graduate school. I still live with my dad, as it would be nearly impossible to make ends meet living on my own. Dad is glad to have me at home, and he provides everything I need as long as I continue to study hard. I am so grateful for his dedication to my well-being.
The problem is, I’m beginning to feel restless. I have lived in the same town all my life. I have big goals and no intention of forgetting them, but I’d like to experience more than this. I would like to take a few months off when I get my bachelor’s degree and go somewhere else. But I worry that Dad would question whether I was making a wise decision. How can I convince him that it would be good for me? And what are some options? Where should a young woman go to gain a little life experience and have some fun before diving back into school? – Confused and Restless
Dear Confused: It is not unusual to want to take a break from your schooling. Many college students travel in order to broaden their life experience. Those with limited means can often find summer jobs to cover their basic expenses. Other students do volunteer work in an exotic locale. For you, it is probably best to work within an established group, and you can check out organizations online. We recommend Habitat for Humanity (habitat.org), which helps build homes all over the world for those in need. You’ll be gaining experience while doing good.