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Recent Letter to the ElderWisdomCircle™

SCHOOL: University or travel?
Letter #: 402114
Category: School

Original Letter

Hi! I'm at university at the moment and am really enjoying the course i am doing, my friends are all taking the next semester off to go travelling to Europe or studying abroad. I would love to go with them but it has become apparent after some research that i would have to take an entire year off because of how my subjects are run (only at certain times of the year, it's all very complicated). 

the idea of taking a year off doesn't fit with what i want to do at the moment, to be honest i dont think i need a break from uni at all and the only reason i would take time off is to have this wonderful travel experience with my friends, which happens to land right in the middle of semester. I would only travel for three months and then would have another 9 months of pottering around while everyone else went on with their studies. I need to decide soon because flights need to be booked for our trip, 

I can't decide whether i should stay and keep on track with university or go travelling! I don't know if that made sense but i'm trying to get advice from everywhere :) Thanks Cora

Elder Response

From your letter, Cora, it sounds to me like you have a good sense of knowing what your decision likely is. You write that you are enjoying school, would lose 9 months away from being on track, and there's a time pressure to book flights to travel.

Whenever I have a decision like this to make, when both choices are compelling, I look at it in several ways. I think about what my most important goals are (e.g., graduating school, saving money), I think about the pro's and con's of both options (missing out on fun vs finishing school sooner), and I see what my head (school?) and heart (friends?) are telling me. Then I put myself in the position of if a friend was asking me this same question, what advice would I tell them?

Cora, it sounds like the pro's of staying on track in school are outweighing the short-term pleasure of traveling with your friends this time. I believe that there will be other opportunities for you to travel, and that your priority is to get your degree as soon as you can. You are wise to recognize that while studying abroad can be an enriching experience, it just doesn't seem like the right experience for you right now.

So, listen to your instincts and forgo this travel experience for staying on the academic course you've set for yourself. You won't regret it.

Best Regards,



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