A walkabout is a rite of passage- a person will go out into the wilderness to discover his or her identity and purpose, and then return home.

Monday, July 2, 2012


Wait, I'm confused, are you going to college?  And how does that work with this whole "taking time off" thing?  

Bet you've thought that at least once.  Or you have now.

The rumors are true, though- I will be attending college beginning Fall 2013.  And I'm able to do that because I went through the same grueling process as millions of other college-bound students these past couple years.  You know, the grade-OCDing-extra-curricular-stocking-college-book-scanning-tour-taking-application-filling-out-general-stress-inducing process.
Pretty representative of  many of my nights.
This is what my college decision ended up looking like:
I applied to (too many) colleges and got into a bunch of them, but still couldn't really decide where I wanted to go.  Luckily I then received the financial aid packages, which really helped narrow down my options (ha).  After completing a brutal week-long road trip with my dad to the final two college options (embarked upon only one week before May 1, decision day), I ended up choosing Kalamazoo College in Michigan.   
Which I suppose I'm decently happy with.  It's not my dream school, but it seems like a good school that I could be content at, which I guess counts for something.  And then I wrote them a letter outlining my gap year and requesting deferred enrollment, which they granted. 

Anyway, it was a somewhat disillusioning, lackluster experience.  To be honest, it felt like a letdown.   College had been built up for me for so long in high school, and I pretty much worked my ass off for it (grade-wise).  To come away with what felt like a result not worthy of the effort I put in was really frustrating.  But while this may sound bitter, I've generally come to terms with it.  While I don't think there is a "perfect college" out there for me, I do think that any college can be just as good a fit as any other one.  I mean, the college you choose is important, definitely, but you can have a great experience anywhere, so long as you have the right attitude about it.  Which is something I'm sure my gap year will reinforce again and again, about life in general.  

Long story short, I will be attending college.  Just not right out of high school.

Also, let me rant a bit.  College is appallingly expensive these days.  And the cost is only going to increase.  A person's senior year may end up costing 15-20% more than their freshman year (Source).  I'm still so undecided in what I really want to study; I don't want to go to college only to waste a few years and a ton of dough before I figure out why I'm there.  So embarking on a gap year will most likely be just as helpful for figuring out my interests as a year of college, if not more so.  And just more fun and exciting (in my opinion). 

Plus kids who take time off generally perform better than their peers who neglected to.  Definitely used that reason to get permission to defer my enrollment at Kalamazoo. 

xoxo, Cleome

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