As we move past graduation and into the summer, it’s common for students to start to feel their gap year is suddenly very *real*. Depending on the person, this realization can result in excitement, anxiety, nervous anticipation – but most commonly, a combination of all these feelings. It’s also common for students to second guess their decision on some level (“Am I making the right choice?”). If you are feeling this way about your gap year, it’s important to know that this is totally common, and there are way to work through these emotions in a healthy way so you can start getting less anxious and more excited for your gap year!

One thing to note before we go further is that no matter what a student chooses to do after graduation, there is likely going to be a similar mix of emotions or possibly second-guessing. A LOT of students want to take a gap year because they know deep down they don’t want to go straight to college, but they may not feel comfortable taking that step. In fact, I see new students throughout the summer who come to this realization later and choose to take a gap year just before starting college or a few weeks into the semester (better late than never!). So, just know that the emotions you are feeling are common with any major life transition. 

A few years ago I interviewed an incredible gap year alum for my podcast Gap Year Radio, Laura Prior-Palmer. She said simply, “Taking a gap year is brave, and anyone can be brave.” 

You CAN do this, and based on my 13 years of informal research and the body of actual research, you will not regret this choice. But sometimes, you need a little boost, and this blog post aims to do just that.

Below you’ll see some stories, interviews and quotes from recent gappers who reflect on their choice to take gap time and talk about what they got out of it. I hope it helps move you in the direction of feeling confident in your choice and more excited about your impending gap time. I am just a text or phone call away if you want to chat more about it!

 

 “Taking a gap year allows you to grow in ways you won’t in a classroom. I think the most important skill I learned on my gap year was figuring out what I want and figuring out how to make that happen. I learned how to do things because I want to do them…I learned that if I really want something, I have the ability to make it happen.”

– Owen, Gap Alum 2021 

 

DYNAMY INTERNSHIP YEAR

Dynamy students (including an EnRoute student!) offer their thoughts on why a gap year was right for them (notice that different students have different reasons for taking gap time).

 

 

Life is a journey and you are in no rush to get anywhere. Just be happy where you are right now. I learned how to be a better version of myself and I hope I continue to grow.”

– Grace, Gap Alum 2021 

 

MICHELLE ZHANG

Michelle sent us this video during her gap year and offers some inspiring words about what her gap time has meant for her.

She also told me, “It would be way too long describing all the things I learned about myself on my gap year, but I’d say the most valuable things I’ve learned are “flaws” – which I can’t find a better word for- aspects about myself that I can improve on and have realized tend to come out when I put my limits to the test.”

“Be prepared. A gap year isn’t all easy. It’s hard to find something to do and even harder to make it worthwhile. BUT, if you are able to find something that does match both of those qualifications, you will have a year that will help you beyond what you can imagine and be remembered for the rest of your life.

– Talon, Gap Alum 2021 

 

 BLISS BEAN’S BEATRICE NAUJALYTE 

YouTube star Beatrice has taken two gap years (one due to covid) and talks about the benefits of them on her channel. In this video, she breaks down the six reasons she’s grateful for her gap time.

 

 

 

 

GAP YEAR RADIO INTERVIEW WITH JOSIAH AND RILEY

In this episode, we speak with Josiah Johnson and Riley Piva, two incredible gap year alums who dedicated time to disaster recovery with the international relief organization All Hands and Hearts.

Josiah and Riley open up about the experience volunteering in disaster relief, the mental health benefits of serving others and how you can get involved! 

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