29 June 2013

"you're taking a gap year?!"

why am i taking a gap year? it's unexpected; it's a leap of faith; it feels surreal. plenty of people have told me they're jealous of my gap year, but it's no wonder more people don't take one. outlining a realistic year was tough: i've been planning and researching since september, though i only finally committed in may. it feels like uncharted territory. it would have been easy to go to williams in the fall: i'm excited about college, i love williams, and i'd started to meet my future classmates.

but i've also been going to school my whole life, and i've recently felt burned out, unengaged.  and williams will be there next year, and i'll still get to go to college for four years; it'll just be delayed a year. graduating at 22 rather than 21 won't make me late or old. i have this unique interregnum right now; a time when i don't quite yet have adult responsibilities, and i'm lucky to have the opportunity to travel and work. i've got so much to gain from this year, a year that i think may define the rest of my life.

i want to reignite my love of learning. to visit interesting places and really immerse myself; becoming part of life in another country.  to make new friends and new family. to travel with my best friend maddy, who shares my travel philosophy and is my complement (or even clone) in many ways, before we're separated by 3,500 miles of ocean for the next four years. to travel independently and test my limits. to finally truly perfect my spanish and to also learn french, which i started learning years ago but haven't really pursued. to get work experience: explore some fields i'm interested in, earn money, adjust to work life.

i cannot express how unbelievably grateful i am to even have this opportunity; i know i'm incredibly fortunate to have such a supportive family. i will take advantage of everything i've been given. i will head to williamstown more excited, more motivated, more open-minded, and more appreciative of the world around me and the moment i'm living in.

i will be documenting my journey through writing and photographs on this blog. thanks for reading!