“Oh, which colleges are you applying to?” “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” “What do you want to do for the rest of your life?”
WHOA, WHOA, WHOA, FOLKS. I am in full on panic mode about the future, and I have no shame in admitting it. Ask any High School senior any one of these questions, and I can almost guarantee they will also start crying inside. But this generation is so lucky. This generation has developed the most beautiful concept in the entire world (probably): the gap year.
What exactly IS a gap year? The Merriam Webster Dictionary defines it as “a one-year hiatus from academic studies to allow for nonacademic activities”. Some people use it as a year to get drunk on the beaches of Mexico, or to party in Amsterdam. Some students use it as a year to volunteer or to make as much cash money as they can. Some travel, and some take community college classes at home in hopes of finding a path to follow at a 4 year university.
This past week here in Crested Butte has been full of hard adventures meant to truly challenge us. We were so challenged, in fact, that Wednesday was declared a “clean slate” day aka “nap all day” day. I napped in three different sunny windows, and I’ve got to say, it was pretty dang nice. But I also started to seriously think about the upcoming year in a much more serious light. Would I apply to college? Would I travel more? If so, how would I afford it? These questions have been nagging at my brain for the past few days, and I decided my best bet was to write it down. So here I am, writing it down.
A lot of friends of mine back home are applying to amazing schools with almost a 100% chance of acceptance, and some are declaring their gap years. Which path is best for me? What if I work for half a year and travel for the other half? What happens then? Will I be motivated to apply to college for the 2017-2018 school year? These are all things I am unsure of. What I am sure of is this:
It doesn’t matter which path I choose. In the end, I will end up where I need to be. Say I do apply to college, and end up ABSOLUTELY HATING IT! If that ends up being the case, I can leave. If I take a gap year and end up feeling like a pile of crap without motivation, I can apply for the winter quarter at any school near me, or find a university with rolling admittance.
Wow, this world is making it really easy on all of us undeceive people out here. Thanks, world.
At this point, the only way to go is to follow my gut. And right now, I know my gut is saying to hold off on college, and to take a gap year. Writing it out really does help! Nice!
My parting words to anyone deciding on their own plans of action regarding next year (or ever): Follow your gut. Everything will work out in the end. You’ve got this.