High five! You (finally) got that diploma in your hand and scored some awesome graduation gifts. So, what鈥檚 next? Many head off to college with a big ol鈥 smile on their face, graduate and land their dream job. But sometimes jumping right into college can be a scary thing and you want聽to live a little before you鈥檙e locked down for four years. There are so many places to see, things to do, etc. Not sure which way to go?聽The folks at College Tourist created this super informative infographic to help you decide (or FOMO if you鈥檙e past grad ;)

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Originating in聽the United Kingdom in the 1970s, taking a gap year is super popular overseas, but is just now gaining popularity in the U.S. Many graduates聽(and parents) worry about whether it is financially and emotionally feasible for the student. Believe it or not, a gap year will actually save you money and make your college experience exponentially better. Want to know how? Check out the rest of the infographic and our reasons below.

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1. Save money.聽Lots of students take time off to work and save for tuition. Because let鈥檚 face it 鈥 college can be pricey. Plus, many universities offer deferment scholarships. That鈥檚 right, they鈥檒l essentially pay for some of your school when you take time off. Places like Tufts University have gap year programs that help pay for airfare, housing and even visa fees for your travels. Even Harvard mentions gap-year opportunities in their acceptance letters. Reach out to your list of dream schools to see if they offer scholarships.

2.聽Volunteer time.聽Put a little good out into the world. You won鈥檛 regret it. Volunteering not聽only helps out others and makes you feel like you contributed, but it also gives聽you valuable experience that future employers will love. It can also open up the doors to full-time opportunities with the organizations you volunteered for during your gap year. Whether you choose to go overseas or keep it local, your help will not go unnoticed.

3.聽See the world.聽Life is short, and you don鈥檛 always have the perfect opportunity to travel like you do when you鈥檙e young. Right after high school聽is the time to do it. Trust us. Popular gap year destinations include Thailand, Australia, South Africa, Peru鈥 the world is your oyster. You can travel for the sights聽or travel for the work, like teaching English聽at an overseas school or helping out on cruise ship. Or, while you鈥檙e at it, do both.

4. Reduce burnout.聽Many people jump right into college after high school. You go from high school finals right to your first time living alone and balancing your new schedule (oh, and more tests). The stress and all the changes add to a big case of burning out. Take the adult time out that you need. Your mental well-being will definitely thank you.

5. Score a higher GPA.聽Many (we鈥檙e looking at you, mom and dad) think that taking a gap year will mean you鈥檒l forget how to study or, gasp, never go to college. Sorry to break it to you, but studies聽show that gap year students have higher GPAs than those that don鈥檛 take a year off, and that high GPA lasts all four years. Not to mention, 90%聽return back to the school life聽within a year.

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6.聽Make new friends.聽Venturing聽out into the big world is a bit intimidating, but when you have (new) friends by your side, you can accomplish anything. Think of the stories you鈥檒l have and how great聽it will be聽to say 鈥淭his is my friend I met while I was in [insert awesome destination here]鈥 when you introduce them. Friends truly make the world go 鈥檙ound.

7.聽Discover your true passion.聽Time is your friend when finding out what your true passion really is in life. Don鈥檛 rush into a major because your friend is doing it, or because your parent chose that as their career path. Be you. People that did a gap year found a renewed energy and passion for school and life. In fact, 60% say taking the time off helped set them on their current career path.

8. Get to know yourself.聽You rock. There, we said it. So why not get to know yourself as best as you can before settling into jobs, relationships, parenthood, etc. Gap years have been known to make participants more mature, self-reliant and more independent.

9. Build that resume.聽Your resume聽is your selling vehicle聽to future employers. Make it shine with the help of a gap year. Many used to think gaps in employment would seem unmarketable, but times are a changin鈥. Now, according to聽studies, 88% of gap year students credit the time off with聽adding to their employability.

Are you thinking about taking a year off? Tell us why in the comments below.

(Infographic via College Tourist)