Should I take a gap year?

Rachel Kim, Reporter


Ever since I received acceptance letters from various colleges, one thought has constantly irked my mind: taking a gap year. When I contemplate about taking a gap year, people think I am burned out. Truth is, I am burned out, but not in a “my brain is fried” or “I’ve reached the limit of my intellectual capacity” type of way. For the longest time, I have wanted to stimulate my education and myself in ways I have never before.

I believe sitting in a classroom and learning, even if teachers implement discussion, may be the most shallow form of learning. I’m sure students relate that after they cram for tests, they  forget about almost everything they learned. I’ve definitely been in this position, and I think it is because the very things I should be actively experiencing through all five of my senses are all passively absorbed with the reading of a textbook.

I want to tour various parts of the country, learning the history and progression of the development of the United States from east to west coast. I want to tour various parts of Central and South America, not only to immerse into the language but learn more about the culture, history, and ancestry of the Latin American culture I endear. I want to experience all of the world’s superlatives for myself. (Yes, I was that nerd in second grade who naturally memorized the entire Guinness Book of World Records… for fun.) I want to see how grand Mount Everest actually is. I want to feel how cold Antarctica actually is. I want to witness the most extreme forms of poverty in Sierra Leone.

Many people worry that those who take a gap year will fall into a pit of laziness. But, that is a stigma everyone has to break. Taking a break from school is often correlated with quitting to try hard. But, it shouldn’t be. After all, education is to benefit yourself and the greater society. And, I’m not sure if going to school is synonymous with the best form of education. If you think that taking a gap year is significant enough to delay a year of school, go for it. If I had the guts, I would.