The Oracle

New trend: gap years

Senior Sarah Veenstra on a hike with her German exchange student. Veenstra plans to her gap year to satisfy her love of travel

Courtesy of Sarah Veenstra

Senior Sarah Veenstra on a hike with her German exchange student. Veenstra plans to her gap year to satisfy her love of travel

Katie Ours, Scoop Editor

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With the end of the school year approaching, the senior class is on their journey to post high school plans. While most of the graduating class is continuing their education and entering the workforce, there remains a group of students who have not yet decided on their plans for the future. These students have decided not to go straight to college, but to take a year off, which is commonly referred to as a gap year.
This gap year means a lot of different things for students; it is a time for them to discover what they want to do for the rest of their lives and to pursue dreams before they spend four more years in school.
“For me, a gap year is so unique because I’m not tied down to one place and I can change my routine if I want or need to,” said senior Katie Beck. “I decided to take a gap year because I am not sure what I want to do yet, and I would rather take time to figure it out than do something that could potentially end up wasting my time or money.”
A gap year can also provide these students with time away from school, and time to make new discoveries and try new things.
“I think that most people have it engrained in their mind that college right after high school is the only option; there are so many other opportunities though. Taking a gap year is unique because I am finding myself in a way that does not include college,” said senior Sarah Veenstra. “College is a great growing experience, but there are other things you can do without spending a lot of money.”
Instead of spending the next year in even more classrooms student who take a gap year have decided to spend time in the real world and gain the experience it has to offer them.
“For the first three months I will be in Germany where I will be taking part in a discipleship training program. I will learn about God and what my purpose is,” said Veenstra. “I find out where I will be going for the second part of my trip when I am in Germany. I will be practicing what I learned for another three months in another country.”
For others, their gap year includes having time to decide what the future holds for them.
“Right now I have trips planned to Florida, Alabama, and Michigan for traveling and I hope to get a job. I am also considering taking online classes to earn at least some credit while away from college,” said Beck.
Even though these graduates are not following the traditional path of most, they are forging their own paths. Their path will give them a unique perspective and experience that makes them different from the rest of their class.
“I am really looking forward to getting to know God better. He has always been a big part of my life and I want to take the next step in my relationship with him,” said Veenstra. “I have always had a passion to help others. This is an opportunity for me to finally put that passion into action in a bigger way. I am honestly looking forward to the whole experience.”

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New trend: gap years