Dear Mentor:

Travel in Australia? Go to college? Or both?

I really need help. I have been searching the Web to find the right college for me. Even though my parents think I'm nuts, I have always wanted to experience travel in Australia. I'm not quite sure what I am going to do with my life; it's more like I can't pick. So if you could send me the names of a few colleges that allow Americans to attend full-time with a visa and hopefully ones with catholic background, that would be great.

Confused but into Australia, Massachusetts, USA

Dear Confused but into Australia:

Oh dear, how do we begin to answer this question!

The good news is that you are not the only one who is going through this "self discovery" and searching and groping for the "meaning of life." Most of us go though this sooner or later and often more than once in our lifetime. The challenge is not that you are facing this issue, the real challenge is what you would do about it. While one should not sacrifice the present for a promise to be realized sometime in the future, one should not sacrifice the future for the pleasure at the moment either. Life is a balance between the two extremes - a balance that would offer you happiness today and tomorrow. Others can certainly opine, but you have to strike that balance for yourself. We know what you are thinking right about now: You sound so much like my parents! Perhaps, but we have not called you nuts.

Before you make any decisions, we would encourage you to pause, sit down, and think about what you would like to do when you "grow up." Look beyond here and now, no matter how difficult. Pay careful attention to your ambitions and interests. Don't be stressed out about finding the one "final answer" but do think seriously about where you want to be and what you want to do, say in 5 to 10 years from now. A sense of achievable goals is imperative for charting your very own path to a successful future. Having established a sense of ambitions and goals, formulate your options. Consider the pros and cons of each option and make decisions. All through the process, you should seek and seriously consider the thoughts and advice from loved ones, friends, advisors, and confidants. Take your time pondering - it is not a homework assignment that you want to finish quickly.

We recognize basically two threads in your inquiry, namely travel and education. You can pursue one before the other, or pursue both of them concurrently. We know that you have indicated your desire for the latter. While it is certainly doable, is it the right choice? What is the right path for you? How do you determine that? Which path would maximize your happiness over your lifetime, as opposed to maximizing happiness today? You guessed it! The right answer is determined by your goals and ambitions. You need to know your destination before you can plan your path, otherwise any path will get you there but you would not know where "there" is.

You want travel in Australia, and you should. You want to pursue college education, and you should. But travel in Australia, along with college education in Australia, may not be the best choice for you. You should pursue education to acquire the best possible knowledge, skills, and experience. You should pursue education at the best possible institution. You should not pursue education from a school just because you happen to be traveling in the neighborhood. Chances are that the best possible education in your chosen field is available right here in the US. Set priorities for travel and education, based on your goals and ambitions, and decide which comes first. Most importantly, you must be able to explain rationally, at least to yourself, why your choice would not compromise your ambitions and goals. And when you share your rationale with your parents, they would not call you nuts anymore, and nor would we.

Now let's get to the list of colleges in Australia. As you may know, we at iMahal specialize in Education and Careers in the US, UK, India, and Canada. Australia is not an area of focus for us. But don't despair. You can visit the iMahal Worldwide Directory for Colleges in Australia.

Say hello to your parents from us. We certainly hope that they won't call you nuts anymore. We wish you the best.

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