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.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Why a Gap Year?

I would think that one of the first things you'd ask someone who's taking time off is "Why?"

Actually, I know so.  Because I get that question a lot.  It's definitely in the top five three.

Here are the various reasons why I elected to take a gap year (in no particular order):

-I needed a break from school.  I'd worked ridiculously hard in [high] school for the past however many years, and I felt like I deserved a hiatus.  Don't want to burn out.
-With the above reason, I'd learned a lot in school, but probably most significantly how to be a good student.  I'd managed to excel at it, but there's more to life than writing decent papers and taking tests.  I need to learn some "real world" skillz.
-My parents really pushed for it.  Crazy I know.  Pretty much the opposite of what most people say their parents would do.  But I attribute that to the fact that both my parents took time off from school themselves, are very big on traveling (we took a family sabbatical to Mexico when I was seven), and are just pretty cool old people.
-I wanted to travel.  And put some of my [barely existent] language skills to use.
-I felt the need to definitively leave my family, and become a capable, independent human being.  The reason my blog is called She Walks About is because I'm partially thinking of this year as being my walkabout.  Like the Aboriginal males in Australia who would leave their homes and head out on a walkabout into the bush to transition from boys to men.  Except for the turning into a man part.  This is a pivotal moment for my self-growth and exploration.  
-College is ridiculously expensive.  And since I have no idea what I want to go into right now, it makes no sense to waste a few years and hundreds of thousands of dollars before figuring that out.  Plus, there's evidence that kids who take gap years are more successful than their peers when they go back to school. 
-Up until now, I've pretty much simply done what people have told me to.  Met others' expectations.  I need to learn how to make my own goals and complete them.
-Volunteering always appealed to me, but I never had enough time to do anything that left me really fulfilled.  I wanted to give back in a more significant way.
-I wanted to.  Plain and simple, a gap year sounded like fun.  I couldn't wait to have a whole year that was all my own, for me to go off and do something crazy that most people would only dream about.

And I'm sure there's a gajillion more reasons I'll end up thinking of.

xoxo, Cleome

No comments:

Post a Comment