4 years of your life are spent finishing something that perhaps wasn’t for you to begin with. Maybe reading and studying most of your time was not your idea of life. Maybe you still haven’t figured it out even after advisors, friends and teachers have given you a wealth of ideas as to how to continue with life. Now that you’re finished with college, what the hell are you going to do? Travel after graduation isn’t novel, and there’s reason for that.
Travel After Graduation
If you’re celebrating finishing your studies, and if you had dreaded weekdays for the past 4 or so years, and if that’s the reason you have decided to travel, then you will probably only travel for a short amount of time. You’ll treat it like a reward. You’ll probably drink a lot.
There are other reasons why you might have decided to hit the road. If we’d get along, it’s probably because neither of us were attracted by the idea of monotony. Unfortunately, the way of the world makes it too easy to see the future. You can see yourself in 5 years. It’s even a tactic in “life planning” that you make the effort to envision your life in 5 years’ time. Maybe it makes you feel pathetic–it did me.
Feeling Disenfranchised after School
This depends somewhat on what it was that you studied. But maybe not. I studied the way the international community functions–economics, politics, geography, war and business. Studying these things is a great way to either inspire you to join a sub-level rat race of NGOs, or it might inspire you to accept defeat and join the ranks of urban dwellers trying to make ends meet. In my case, it inspired me to search out something different, and to use travel as a way to learn more, to better my understanding of the depressive state of the world such that I could find something more beautiful in it all. I was sick of the conventional learning mechanisms, and I was sick of the world I felt stuck in. Hitting the road by thumb was a sure way to shake things up.
The Usefulness of a Degree on the Road
Again, this depends on what you studied. Sometimes I wish I’d studied something more practical and concrete, like architecture or engineering. But then, having studied what I studied probably has a great deal to do with my present circumstances, which I wouldn’t trade for the life of me. It’s ironic. It’s a catch 22, you might say; a degree that might be more useful on the road than my liberal arts BA would mean that my past would be altered, and it would be unlikely that I’d even be on the road. A liberal arts degree is useless for anything more than silencing the ones who claim you’re nothing and lost, because their eyes see authority in titles.
Finish University and Go
All that being said, if you find yourself reading this, perhaps it’s a trigger that I did not need, but that you do. Traveling after years of study is a good idea. If for nothing else than to get away from what are soon to be your obligations. But more than that, the road can bring a new kind of learning–one in which you have no say in the matter of acquisition. You will learn. And it’s a street education, if you allow it to be. It’s different from the books in a precious way. Someone who is interested in knowledge should want to have knowledge from both worlds. So leave the books and be happy that you finished–which, despite my tone, you should–and introduce yourself to the real world that you’ve read so much about.