Gap year grants self reflection



While some students at the Bay are sending college applications and preparing to further their education at a university, other students have decided upon another route in the form of taking a gap year. Senior Mikayil Verdiyev said he opts to experience life outside of a classroom after graduation.

“I want to take a gap year to take a break from formal education such as sitting in a classroom,” Verdiyev said. “I want to increase self-awareness about myself versus learning about something.”

When taking his year off, Verdiyev said he wants to visit France and other countries. Rather than learn in a traditional class setting, he said he wants to gain knowledge by travelling the world and meeting new people.

“I love France and everything it has to offer,” Verdiyev said. “I want to travel around Europe and [its] neighbouring countries to see what’s out there such as scenery and history.”

Verdiyev said he also wants to utilize this year off to explore career paths and alternate opportunities for his future.

“My gap year is not the end of my education,” Verdiyev said. “I want to thrive as a person and learn about myself, then I plan to come home and study whatever I end up falling in love with.”

Since Verdiyev intends on moving out of the country, he said he must grapple with the idea of leaving his life in Florida behind.

“There’s a lot out there in the world, you just have to find it,” Verdiyev said. “Moving to France will allow be to expand my horizons at least in cultural experiences.”

Guidance Counselor Melissa Boorom said taking a gap year can be beneficial depending on the student. She said gap years can open the doors to many opportunities if the time off is used wisely.

“Gap years can lead to success in oneself,” Boorom said. “It can lead to many opportunities and experiences, but college can also.”

According to Boorom, while some students are ready to go to college and start their future careers, it’s okay for students who are undecided to explore.

“Some students need time to decide what they want to become,” Boorom said. “College isn’t for everyone, but there is always something out there for every person.”

Whether it’s attending a college or travelling the world, Boorom said all of the graduates will be learning something new.

“It’s beneficial if taking the year off of school to work in your desired field for a year,” Boorom said. “This is a gain either way, students go and they come back learning something new.”

While gap year students are not enrolled in classes, Boorom said students typically take this year off for exploration and self-realization wherein they are learning beyond what a general classroom can teach them.

“Travel is a great thing because there is no rush for a college education, especially if you have a great opportunity waiting for you,” Boorom said. “No matter what, I would definitely recommend finding your passion.”

While Boorom said she believes college right after high school graduation is a logical path, she said any route the students embark upon will further their knowledge and aid them in future careers.

“No matter what path you follow, there will always be a gain in the experience,” Boorom said.

When it comes to her future, senior Naiara Amarante said she is not ready to commit to anything. She said she wants to leave her options open and travel the world.

“I’d like to take a gap year because I don’t feel ready to commit to one major, one school and one schedule just yet,” Amarante said. “I want to find out what I really want in life first.”

Taking a gap year, Amarante said, seems like the perfect time to decide what she wants to do for the rest of her life. She said there is no need to rush or make a final decision on something she is unsure about.

“During my gap year, I hope to get out there on my own and volunteer for a few organizations here in South Florida, the Caribbean, Canada and Brazil that work with animal health and research,” Amarante said.

With her year off, Amarante said she hopes to further explore her true passion: animals. She said she wants to focus on the caretaking of animals and study their environments.

“I believe this [experience] can benefit me by giving me more exposure to a field I might want to pursue later in life,” Amarante said.

As she will not only explore the animal world during her gap year, Amarante said she will mature greatly by delving into an independent lifestyle and a load of new responsibilities straight after high school.

“I want to gain the experience I need to feel confident on my own in the real world,” Amarante said. “The doubts about what I want to do in the future go away within that time.”

After her gap year, Amarante said she plans on going to college. Once a year passes, she said she hopes to have a clearer view of her future and in what she plans to major.

“My gap year isn’t because I am tired of education,” Amarante said. “It’s a continuation to finding my life’s purpose and my road to success.”



Print Friendly, PDF & Email