My road to taking a gap year has been a long and interesting one. I recently graduated from a private high school in Atherton, California where gap years were always presented as “Backpacking across Europe”; although gap years looked fun and exciting, I had yet to hear a story that justified putting college on hold for a year. It wasn’t until December of 2011, completely by chance, that I decided I needed to rethink the trajectory of my life.
I applied early decision to the college of my dreams and I got in, which I was very excited about. Naturally, I immediately joined the Facebook group to meet some of the people I would be spending the next four years with. I was scrolling through the posts on the group’s page, when I came across a post by this student who had deferred his enrollment the previous year to go to Brazil with a program called Global Citizen Year. His story seemed so unique compared to the ones I had been exposed to at school that I asked him to tell me more about his experience and the program he was a part of. After hearing about his experience and doing some of my own research, I decided that taking a gap year with Global Citizen Year was a worthwhile endeavor.
To be more direct, I decided to take a gap year because I needed the break. I plan to major in international relations when I go to college, so I am taking this time to explore my interests within that field (and hopefully find something I’m truly passionate about along the way). But what has truly pushed me to take a gap year is that I’m too worn out from the college application process to go to college right now. After being accepted to the school of my dreams, I had to withdraw my admission because I could not afford to go there. However, I was able to apply other places, and I am very happy about the college that I will attend in 2013. Although it was a struggle, I am thankful to have gone through the process the way I did; if I had not applied early to college, who knows if I would have ever seen the post that made taking a year off seem like a worthwhile endeavor. I am very grateful that all the events up till now have led me to embarking on what will be a life changing experience.