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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    United States
    Posts
    2,546

    The Ever Enchanting Gap Year

    Hello berries! Since most of you are out of school and have been through college, I feel like you’d be the best group to ask about (dramatic pause) gap years! The thing is, I’m almost a senior in high school and I need to start thinking about what I’m going to do after I graduate. My high school is very college oriented, and it’s been expected since my freshman year that I’m going to go- even if it’s a two year program at a community college. But a part of me has this urge to travel. Part of me says that if I don’t do it next summer I never will (which is a bit silly) and college will always be there. But another part of me says that I can still travel after college or during spring break. I've only asked two friends and they had opposite opinions- one said to do it (since I’m only young once) and the other told me that it was a bad idea.
    So have any of you done a gap year? Did you regret it? Did you lose motivation to go back to school? And have you ever considered it, but in the end decided not to? I’m not saying that your stories will completely sway my opinion, but it will definitely give me an idea of what to expect.
    Thanks in advance berries, I look forward to reading the replies.
    -Athena

    Top Girls: Under Construction

    Top Boys: Under Construction

  2. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    187
    I never took time off between high school and college, but I regret it! I went straight to college because it was expected of me and since I didn't really know what I wanted to do with my life I ended up dropping out and trying a new program.. 3 times! What a waste of money! And because of this, I'm still in school at my age and haven't had the time or funds to travel (and probably won't any time soon as we have decided to start trying for our first baby) so based on my experience, I would suggest travelling until you know what you want to do, then go to school! If you find something you are passionate about you will not have trouble going back to school! I was off for 2 years between my last school endeavour and my current field of study. I had no problem going back because I found a career path that I think absolutely fitting for myself!

    Good luck!

  3. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    361
    I did a study abroad program through my university. They have many countries and courses to choose from depending on your school and major.
    That way you can still be in school and travel and have a new experience all at the same time. I chose to do mine in Mexico, my SO did a semester in France when he was in college, and I have friends who've spent theirs in England, Spain, Italy, Argentina, etc. There are a ton of possibilities. I'm glad I opted for that over a gap year because I would've been behind or even changed my mind about going back since being away was so much fun. The travel bug has stayed with us, we've been all over, and here at home we apply our degrees and education as much as possible.
    Mama to ~Rowan Josephine 1/12~
    and ~Teagan Dahlia~ 5/13~

  4. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    United States
    Posts
    2,546
    Thanks for the input so far, guys!
    @whitegold- that's what I really fear! I don't know what I want to do, and though I could figure it out during my senior year, there's a good chance I might not. I'm not exactly in the financial situation to throw money around on changing programs. Thanks for sharing. I'll definitely keep this in mind.
    @stephanie413- study abroad is an appealing option. I'm looking at schools that offer study abroad, and at schools out of the country. I'll also keep that option in mind.
    -Athena

    Top Girls: Under Construction

    Top Boys: Under Construction

  5. #9
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Spain
    Posts
    2,064
    I guess I did a gap year- I took 2 years off after high school because I had no idea what I wanted to study, and I just wasn't ready to go to university. I didn't want to waste time or money, so I stayed home and worked. I still travelled, because my family travels a lot, but it wasn't much of a self-discovery time for me. All of my friends went to school, though.

    Over the past 7 years since being out of high school, I took 2 years off to work, went overseas twice on holiday, started my 4 year degree, went overseas for reading week in 2nd year, moved to Spain for school, graduated, moved to the Basque Country to work, got a second degree. I've gone across Canada, down to the States a handful of times, and hit a few countries in Europe, too.
    I really don't see travel and education as an "either or" situation.

    The school I went to for my undergrad had a bunch of school-sanctioned year abroad programs (France, Spain, Germany, Ghana, Thailand, Costa Rica, Mexico & Ecuador), and 75% of the people I met at that school did a year abroad. I went to that school specifically for the year abroad options.
    And at the school I'm just graduating from now, pretty much everyone travelled outside of North America, and most of those had gone for either a summer, a semester or a year to work or go to school.

    I obviously haven't lost motivation for school; I did an Honours degree with a double major, a Bachelor of Education in 3 divisions, and I would love to do my Masters in Anthro & Ethnography. I think motivation really depends on the individual, and not on time out of school. I almost failed out of high school and wanted to drop out all 4 years, so I really don't believe HS is always much of an indicator once you grow up a bit. Plus, post-secondary isn't for everyone, so if you (anyone) really don't want to be there, it doesn't matter when you go. If you do want to be there- doesn't matter if it's the day after you graduate high school, or 20 years down the road, you'll be more motivated.

    Just wanted to add: My choice for my undergrad was to major in what my highest mark was in high school, and I made that call the night my ex and I broke up (we broke up, I went inside, and was like, "I'm applying for university!"), hence the anthro degree. I majored in Spanish, too, because you have to declare it if you do a year abroad. Now, in my post-grad, any time anything anthro-related comes up, I literally get teary with happiness. My advice is to go with your gut. If you're studying something you're excited about- it doesn't really matter the practicality, it's going to help.
    Last edited by lucialucentum; May 20th, 2013 at 12:48 AM.
    Lucia
    Sela, Iris, Bronwen and Bastian, Fletcher, Gideon

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