Free to Fall

Lillian Wells - Senegal


July 12, 2013

The first time I got into any kind of “real” trouble was in my third grade class. Perhaps it was the sun shining through the windows or the fact that she was teaching times tables that I had already memorized, but either way, my restless nine-year-old self deemed the classroom too confining, the lesson irritatingly effortless, and the outdoors seemed to possess everything that the stifling trailer classroom lacked, especially fresh air. So being the tactless third grader I was at the time, I stood up and walked outside to watch the clouds move over my head because everything the sky had to offer was so much more meaningful to me than any coursework.

This memory stood out in my mind when I searched for colleges. I was hesitant to fill out applications because my tendency towards wanderlust has always led me away from conventional learning. Although I am beyond thankful for the education I have received, especially since I realize the importance of the opportunities I have been given, my constant yearning to be outside of the classroom has never lessened.

Now that I have decided to pursue a gap year, everything is about to change and I still don’t know how to feel about it. I’m constantly wondering about what will happen next year and in the years to come. All I can really be sure of right now is how full I feel- brimming with an insatiable thirst and excitement for the future.

I don’t want to be driven by money or senseless obligations that exist solely to satisfy societal norms. I want to be free to fall in love with the world I live in and the people surrounding me. This year away from home is my opportunity to learn how to give instead of take and learn about life through experiencing first-hand what this world has to offer.

 

Lillian Wells