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  • Writer's pictureCaylie Poola

Why I Wish I Took A Gap Year.

When I graduated high school, I was only 18 years old, making me one of the youngest in my class. Most of my friends would go on to turn 19 during the summer months or had already turned 19 before we walked across the stage on our football field to get our diploma.

You might be thinking, spare me the dramatics, its a few months of a difference, it means nothing outside of your school years, but to me, over time, especially now at the mere age of 19 and a junior in college this fall, as some of my friends begin to brainstorm ideas for their up and coming 21st birthday's, I consider what opportunities I could have taken, when I graduated high school. And I feel way too young to be in charge of making all these life altering decisions. I also realize that most college students feel the way I do, lost, scared, excited and confused. However, I also have a lot of friends who are nursing, pre - law, engineering, pre something in the medical field, early education majors. I'm jealous of my friends who have a major with a career on the horizon that they can truly visualize when they go to class, and have the expectation of knowing what type of work they'll specifically be doing. I was never able to narrow my interests down enough for a major so limiting in the way that only a few specific jobs can accompany it. And while sometimes the open ended ness of my major is exciting and motivating, it can also bring me some mild panic, help lol.

If you told me then what a gap year entailed, the fear of FOMO, commonly know as the fear of missing out, would have stopped me quicker then the word no coming out of my mouth. Knowing this, I can't help but wish that taking a gap year after high school was not only more popular, but talked about more as an option, and brought up in an exciting way not just a "live in your parents house one more year while your friends move on" way. And to be completely honest, when I was a senior in high school, I had a private college counselor, and an overall strong guidance department at my public school which assisted us with so much of the college application process, yet still, with all these resources, it is nearly impossible for me to remember the option of a gap year coming up in any conversation. And I'm sure some of this had to do with the general demographics and nature of the community I grew up in, but even as I go on to make friends at college from all over the country, I fail to hear anyone, say they know someone, who has taken a gap year either.

I am completely terrified to graduate college in two years, to be as blunt as possible. The idea of being 21 years old and entering the world as a full fledged adult with the intentions of paving a career, beginning my own life, doing taxes *sigh*, makes my stomach sink a little. And not because I don't feel I am responsible, or offer great potential, but because I still don't know what I really, truly want to pursue when the time comes. Some of this confusion is why I have been so inconsistent with this blog, but I realize that this blog can be curated to be whatever I want it to be, and it is definitely a step in the right direction.

I wish it were sensible to take a gap year now, but I'm pretty sure that would just be considered dropping out of college, and although sometimes that doesn't seem like the worst idea *lol*, I realize the value of the education I am receiving right now and love college for the most part!

Of course, the girl I am now versus the girl who got her high school diploma, are very different, and when I began college in North Carolina in August of 2018, I would have told you 10 different majors I could see myself in, from business to nursing to pre law, to, well, journalism. Now I have narrowed it down and know my general direction, but am still lost. It feels like I am running out of gas on the highway, and I know where the gas station is, but I don't know if I am close enough to make it.

I think a gap year would have taught me a lot about what direction I wanted to go in before I even got in the car. My hope is that someone in high school reads this and it just maybe peaks their attention just enough to google the term gap year and get sucked into some internet digging that just maybe...and I mean maybe, helps them decide on going for what I was to scared and to unaware of to do...

A Gap Year.

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