Smart Girls, I am twenty three years old and I am a month shy of completing my gap year. According to Merriam-Webster, a gap year is a year that you spend traveling, working, etc. before continuing your studies. Some students feel that a gap year is a great time to explore or make a difference in the world before taking on the next step in life.
My parents have always taught me that education comes first and I knew that it was important for me to go to graduate school but I felt that I needed a break; my mind just needed a break. I needed to find my independence; I needed to find out what I wanted out of life, where was I going to go in my future, and how I was going to get there.
I was nervous about taking my gap year but now I can say that I do not regret it. I started my gap year by interning at the local hospital; I worked with the media department; writing press releases, and volunteering at local events. I also worked with the clinical education department by putting together packets and putting charts together, I also helped edit photos for the hospital magazine. Although this internship didn’t last long, I learned a lot from my mentors.
Aside from my mind needing a break from studying, I needed some personal time to figure out thing. I parted ways with my first job, which I had found with the help of a family member to finding a job all by myself and I haven’t been happier. My new job has pushed my stress level to the limit and has taught me that I can deal with a lot more than I knew I could. I have also learned a lot. I also dealt with a huge health scare, my iron levels got so low that I was put in the hospital with a blood transfusion.
Personal time was a major thing for me; my relationship with my family is healthy and happy. I admire my parents for letting me stay with them and I am so thankful for everything that they do. I have learned that friendships come and go no matter how close you are with someone; I can now say that I know exactly who my best friends are. Although I haven’t had a relationship during my gap year, I have to say that I do feel like I deserve a lot better than I have, I need to put myself first rather than letting someone walk all over me. Traveling was a major part of my gap year, I got the time to visit new places, learn new things, and enjoy an adventure.
If you decide to take a gap year for educational reasons, you can chose to intern abroad, you can work with different volunteering associations around the world, you can learn new skills, experience new cultures, live life on your own, and you can even have extra time to study for the LSATS or MCATS.
There are many pros to a gap year and there are also many cons, but Smart Girls you do what you have to do for yourself, no one can make that decision from you. Hopefully my next step will be starting next fall at The University of Texas. *fingers crossed*