Why Take a Gap Year?

In the United States the practice of taking a gap year between high school and college is not as usual as it would be in some European countries. Originally I was put off by going to college a year later than all my friends. In my head, I had the idea that I would be falling off the “track” or “plan” that all of the other students from my school were following. Work hard in middle school, and even harder in high school, get into a good university, get your undergraduate degree, work, go back to school, and so on. Except, the more I thought about that plan, the more I began to dislike the idea. Learning is great, but without a break, the appreciation for it is lost. If I had the chance to take a year off, and just continue my studies a year later as a more mature and motivated person, why would I not?

Luckily, my parents were greatly supportive of the idea of a gap year. It was only in late June that I finalized my decision. I deferred my admission at George Washington University and began to plan my travels. As I write this, I am in Farum, Denmark, a small town outside of Copenhagen. Next, I plan to travel to France, where I will stay for at least 5 weeks, improving my language ability. In November I travel to Madagascar for 5 weeks. Here I will learn about and help with research relevant to the aquatic life in the area. Apparently, we will get to scuba dive at least four times a week, so it shouldn’t be too bad 🙂 After that adventure I will travel to Thailand. And after Thailand, who knows?

I hope to use this year to grow in many aspects. I want to learn more French, and not just the language, I hope to be immersed in the culture as well (this holds true in every place that I will travel). I will read more and hopefully learn to code. I hope to make friends in all the places that I travel, and also meet up with old ones. I am excited to grow as a person and learn more about the world and the role that I can play in it. I cannot wait for where my adventures might take me.

quintessential / kwɪntɪˈsɛnʃ(ə)l / of or relating to the most perfect embodiment of something

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