Nine months have gone by since I stepped on a plane to Ecuador. That moment feels so long ago, but when I think about the home cooked meals my host mother would cook, and the views of the mountains from the roof of my house, it feels like yesterday.
There are a lot of reasons I now recommend gap years to everyone. I think a gap year becomes exactly what you need. Whether you need to mature, travel, earn some money or take a break from the life you’ve been living, a gap year does just that.
I've learned a lot of lessons over the past year, but I now have more questions than ever.
What is happiness to me?
What do I find fulfilling?
How can I lead a fulfilling life?
How can I stay in the moment, and not worry about the past?
What role do other people have in my happiness?
What do I define as success?
Can I create my own definitions of success and happiness? or will society's definitions overrule mine?
These questions are a lot to take in, but I think they mark the beginning of a new time in my life. Even though I'm struggling right now to answer these questions, maybe I need to accept the struggle, and let it guide me through college. In the end, the most important lesson I've learned is that there is more out there than prestige, influence and being the best. But if I want to stop chasing a grade or an award, what is left for me to chase?