My culture, as well as GCY, contains a huge element of storytelling, so I’m going to share a story with you guys.
First let’s set the scene:
I’m lying on my bed flipping through my senior yearbook. I’m on the phone with my sister Ewa, and contemplating my upcoming graduation. It’s dark outside which means it’s my most nostalgic time of day. My sister and I are talking about nothing and everything at the same time when I ask her,
“Do you ever miss it?”
“Miss what?” she asks me.
“High School, Middle School, Elementary school; all you’ve ever known?”
“Yea I miss it sometimes,” she responds. “I miss the routine, and knowing where I’m supposed to be- what I’m supposed to be doing.”
I guess flipping through my yearbook had made me realize that I didn’t actually know what would come at the other end of my burning desire to just be done with high school- to be free. Everything my sister said captured what I had been feeling, but was too afraid to admit to myself. With routine comes comfort, and the absence of it can cause chaos and anxiety within a person.
However, something else that my sister said stuck with me, or rather the way she said it. K-12 had always been about doing what you’re supposed to do, and being where you’re supposed to be. Maybe that’s why I chose to take a gap/bridge year. I’m not doing what I’m supposed to be doing within U.S culture. I’ve had family friends call me crazy for making this decision (lovingly of course :)), but I just brush it off, because the moment I sent in my application to GCY was the moment I started to really feel that freedom that I had been assuming would come at the end of high school.
The future is scary; it’s uncertain, but the beauty of a future after high school is that we are the ones that now decide what we are supposed to be doing, and where we should be. If I hadn’t deferred from George Washington University I would be moving in this Saturday- ironically the day before I depart for pre-departure training- and today GWU posted a picture of one of their move-in-day carts onto their Snapchat in order to commemorate the fast approaching move-in day.
I started thinking about what I would be feeling right now if I were moving into college on Saturday. Excited to be living on my own? Ready to decorate my dorm room? Looking forward to meeting my roommate(s)? All my excitement seemed to revolve around the first couple days of moving into college. I already knew that the anxiety of making a good first impression with my professors, and preparing myself for the grind of the semester, would eventually set in. As a result, I didn’t feel a sense of regret at seeing the excitement for move-in day on my future college campus because I didn’t choose to have college be my immediate next choice as my new routine after high school, and the fact that I now have a choice makes me that much more sure and happy that I chose GCY.
And to my fellow graduated seniors who chose college as their next step, and are moving in this August/September: Congratulations in making your first big choice after high school! Gap Year or College, just remember that the best part is in the freedom to have a choice. We’re free guys. We did it. Now go out there and find your routine in what makes you happy!
Best of luck…