Gap Years Don’t Go According to Plan

Anna Sophie Tinneny - Ecuador


December 30, 2018

Before coming to Ecuador, I had it all figured out. I knew where I wanted to go to college, what I wanted to do for a living, and where I wanted to live post-degree. The one thing I didn’t know was why I was doing GCY. Despite being so sure of myself in most other areas, taking a gap year was something that drew me without much of an explanation.

By the time the program’s halfway mark rolled around, I thought that I would have self-reflected and self-analyzed enough to uncover my true motive for doing GCY. After that, I thought, I would finally have all the answers. Instead, my plans have been turned on their heads. I’m no longer sure where I want to go to school, my career plans have changed drastically, and I’m thinking of trying out several different home bases before I settle down to live anywhere.

I also still don’t know why I chose this gap year. But maybe that’s the point. Maybe I’m supposed to realize that I don’t have to have the rest of my life planned out at 18. Maybe I’m supposed to become comfortable with uncertainty. Maybe I’ll never understand why I took this gap year, but just accept that it was the right choice at the right time and my course was immeasurably altered by this decision.

No matter what my instinctive reasoning was, I am grateful for the beauty this year has given me. I have seen the most magnificent mountains, laughed with new friends until red in the face, weaseled my way into a loving family, and felt so alive that I’m exhausted.

Who knows, maybe I’ll figure out rationale before this is all over- but don’t hold your breath.

Anna Sophie Tinneny