SEM 2, W3, #5: A ‘GAP’ YEAR

Obviously ‘college’ is a word that we hear a lot about on a campus like ours.  In some ways, getting into college seems to be the focus for many…but I often wonder what students really want to experience the year after they graduate from high school.  And with the upcoming 10th grade trip in a few weeks to visit 2 Texas colleges, I’m even more curious.

Many students across the world take what is called a ‘gap’ year.

This is essentially a year between high school and college where a student pursues something really important to them (traveling, volunteering, working, creating, etc.).

Challenge:

  • If you could take 1 year off from ‘school’ between HS graduation and starting college — to do something truly meaningful with your life — what would it be?  And why?
  • For the sake of this assignment, assume the money is limited (or at least something that has to be taken seriously) and that whatever you choose it must be something that will have a significant impact on your adult future.

Length: 7+ sentences

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102 responses to “SEM 2, W3, #5: A ‘GAP’ YEAR

  1. If I could take one year off between high school and college I would probably use it as an opportunity to do something I wanted to do, but never thought I could. Maybe move to an area that is a large musical community. I write my lyrics, and people say I can sing decently so I think that would be something fun to do. It would also give me the opportunity to learn another instrument. I played the piano, and can still do so if I have to, but I really want to learn guitar. It could be something that would benefit my future, because if I was good, it could lead to a career in music. I would also know to study something different in college for when I would go back the next year. If my original plan was to be a lawyer, and I wanted to change to music, I would have to switch majors and maybe even schools. I just think it would be something fun to try, and it could lead to something really cool.

  2. Gap years are very popular in Australia and Britain. Many of the international staff I hired at summer camp were taking a gap year. It lets them explore the world, find out who they are, meet new people, all kinds of good things. I look forward to seeing everyone’s responses.

  3. If I could take one year off from school right after graduation, I would like to travel to Africa. I love animals, and I haven’t been to the zoo in very long time. So it’s kind of hard for me to remember what the monkeys and elephants and all the other animals were like, up close. I could have easily looked up ‘animals at the zoo’ or something like that on google, and I would get hundreds if not thousands of pictures. But there is a difference between seeing something with your own eyes, straight from the heart, and just looking through them. I want to be able to look out at a zebra, and know exactly what he or she is looking for. I want to hear the elephants blow their trumpets, just to call to their young. And I want to be so close to a giraffe, I could count all their spots, twice. I love being connected to animals, and thats what my future is, going to college to get a Veterinarian’s degree, and help as many animals I can. But before college even starts, it would be extremly nice to go sight seeing in Africa to see all the higher class animals, if you know what I mean eh? 😉

  4. If I could take 1 year off school between HS graduation and stating college, I would take a trip around Asia. I mean it sounds weird, you figure I would want to go around the world, but I kindof like Asia. I have been to parts of Asia including the big countries and my mom’s home country. In the end I kindof miss those countries. I want to explore more of China, Japan, and Taiwan(those are places I visited). I also want to visit South Korea, and Vietnam. Maybe I can see some cool things. If I take this trip, I’ll first go straight to Taiwan. Since my mom has realtives in Taiwan, I’ll just stay with them. I’ll go explore the country of Taiwan by myself. I’ll just walk around, look at the sights, and kindof live the life of a Taiwanese. After a while I’ll go to Japan. There I’m going to spend a lot of money on anime, comics, maybe some interesting Japanese movies, and of coarse VIDEOGAMES. There are some videogames I want to play that are only found in Japan. Also I want to see some anime that doesn’t make it to the US. Also I’ll make Japanese gamers fear the name halochief996. I will also take a tour of Sony, Nintendo, Capcom, and other videogame companies. Man I’m going to be in heaven. After that head to China. I think I’ll stop by Beijing first. Stay there for a while. After that go to HungZhou and find my tour guide from my last China trip, and say hi. After that to Shanghai, bunk with my cousin, and we will have a fun time. After that I’ll go to Vietnam then South Korea. I don’t know what to expect, but I’m thinking probably some interesting Vietnam War sights, and maybe some interesting Korean food. One thing that will be great out of this whole trip is the food. So yeah if I had a gap year, I would take a trip to the Asian countries. Have some fun before I go to 4 years of college study, and then life.

  5. Hmm, I’d never heard of a ‘gap’ year. It would indeed be nice to do something like that, instead of just going straight off to life.

    I’d want to go on a sort of backpacking trip across the mountains. I’d be alone and without a cell phone, and I’d have finished with high school and exams and everything so I wouldn’t have to worry about anything. I’d take only the gear and food I’d need for survival, and a journal. It’d be kind of like what Bilbo wanted: “somewhere quiet where I can finish my book!” I’d have time to think and mentally prepare myself for college and life.

    And, if it still isn’t done in two years from now, I could actually finish that story/novel/thing I’ve been working on since eighth grade…

  6. I personally do not like the idea of taking a year between high school and college. I feel that it would be hard to transition back into study and back into the school environment after being away from it for a year. However, if I did take a gap year between high school and college, I would want to travel. I would love to travel throughout Europe, especially Italy, visiting places of great history and also great beauty. Traveling throughout Europe would be a completely new experience for me. One of independence and freedom. I would be by myself, looking out for myself, for months. I feel that this would be a good way to transition into a life without supervision like the one I will be experiencing in college. Also, I could meet new people, befriend strangers, establish connections that could benefit me in any career path that I will eventually take.

    Although I do not advocate the gap year because of its separation form school, I can see how taking a break and giving yourself time to reflect on who you want to be could be an extremely useful experience for many people. Traveling alone is probably one of the best ways to begin to understand yourself and understand what kind of person you are. I don’t think I would ever take a gap year, but if I did take one, I would love to travel and be exposed to completely new experiences.

  7. If i had the luxury of taking a ‘gap year’ off from school I’m fairly positive I would want to move to New York. In this year I would get an agent and begin auditioning for everything an anything he or she could get me an audition for. Of course not knowing anyone in New York City might be an issue but my family knows a few people that live in New York and hopefully they could help me get to know the wonderful city. New York has so much going on and hopefully there would be a commercial or something being shot that I could get into.

    The fact that I want to take this gift of a year to simply further my own career worries me because I should use it to go to Africa or some struggling South American country and help people in any way that I can but I would always be wondering what if. That is the one thing that bothers me, in my life I don’t want to have one huge regret, one huge opportunity that I simply ignored because it wasn’t practical. Honestly I do want to be involved in charities and I love helping people but I will be no good to anyone if I live my life consumed with this cloud of regret looming over me all the time. I have to try to achieve my dreams because if I don’t then I don’t know what I’m working so hard for. All of my work is motivated by the thought that if I work hard enough then I can get into a New york college and pursue acting.

    So if this year was gifted to me I would move to New York with my fingers crossed and try to impact the world in the best way I know how, through the arts.

  8. If I did take a ‘gap’ year, I would audition for as many shows as possible. I would love just doing one production right after another. Just allowing myself to do the best at what I love for a year, would be amazing! Of course, that would still be what I would be doing after college, but I wouldn’t title it ‘work.’ It’s just something that I love doing, and I would happen to get paid for it. (most of the time)

    After I finish my several shows, I would love to just take a backpack with clothes, some money, and my bike and see where it takes me. So many times, myself included, we forget that there is nature and life out there, and I want to explore it. I wouldn’t have to deal with anything except staying alive, and I think sometimes that needs to be our goal. Sometimes we need somewhat broad and vague goals.

    I would love to maybe take the train (because that is so cool and old school hehe) to Amarillo. There is a place called CityChurch that prepares and delivers hot meals to children in the area that would otherwise not get any lunch during the summers. They also are a full functioning church, and have services and all sorts of things. I would love to stay there during my ‘gap’ year as well. I would help out where ever they needed help, as long as they could provide me with a meal and a roof over my head. It would be great!

    Also during this break, I would want to learn more about photography. Either take a class, or just explore what my eyes can spot and what my mind and camera can capture. I think photography is so interesting! It would be a great activity to learn how to do because I really think it is a life long hobby.

  9. First off this is something I would never be allowed to do (my parents would murder me). But if I could take a year off before starting college I would travel and write.

    I love doing both and would love to have the time to do them. I want to write as an occupation and being able to do nothing except write for an entire year would make me much better, and give me some starts for stories besides the few I have now. I would love to be able to go some where I had never been and write about it, be allowed to spend more time in a certain place if I wished. I would love to experience the freedom of no deadlines or tests or work, just to live for the sake of living for a while. I believe this would greatly affect me because I have ideas for books but no time for it, and if I could actually get something down I may not have to major in business to feed myself waiting for a publisher to pick up my work. Since money is limited I would probably travel to Scotland and England and just spend a few months in each of those places, and I would do what I love the most; writing.

  10. If I have one year to prepare, I will go back to Taiwan and stay there with my family and friends. My dream was to be a great doctor like my father, so I need to study harder than everybody else. And if I have this chance and times, I might go to my dad’s hospital and practical training in there, be preparing to have more knowledge and experience in the rest of the study road. And to have a rest, like when in the free times I can go to climb the mountains, play some basketball or go work out to training my strength. That was the greatest ever, and I hope my dream can come true, but the best was to go around the world, that I can gain my knowledge more deeper, that will be coo. 🙂

  11. I think it’d be a hard decision, but I’d want to go to write somewhere abroad, and my decision would probably land on ENGLAND!! This is not only because they speak English there (so I wouldn’t have to learn another language), but England is a country that fascinates me on many different levels.

    I love England’s history more than that of any other country. I know most of its history from the year 1400 to the year 1800 (generally). I love it. I would want to visit all the buildings and museums and everything! I think I’d die of joy. But what I love even more about England, apart from its history, is its music. Quite a few of my favorite bands are from England (modern AND oldies, heehee) and that would be doubly amazing! My favorite band is the Beatles, and visiting Abbey Road and everything would just blow my mind. Plus, I’d get to see concerts for people like Lily Allen, Kate Nash, the Pipettes, Amy Winehouse, and all these modern bands that annoy me because they hardly ever come to America! And that would be doubly amazing.
    But apart from that, I would love to live there, and just write. Like, live in a modest apartment, possibly in London, and just write every day. Or rather, every OTHER day, because I’d want time to see the city! And then maybe I’d take a trip to Rome, because I love Italian history too.

  12. Since I would like to be a musician, I would take a year to myself to work on everything that I had to put off because I was too busy with school. I would practice my guitar nonstop, and I’d work hard to learn as many other instruments as I possibly could. I would write more songs as get a grasp on what it was I wanted to communicate as an artist. I would use that year to get a footing on what I wanted to sound like, and fully explore the world of music and all the possibilities that music offered.

    Before I get together with people that share a similar vision with me, I would want to spend time by myself and work with just me. I would explore all the experiences that I could in order to gain more perspective on the world. Music is something that holds a special meaning for me, and I can’t really imagine spending a year doing something else. Except for traveling, but that experience would also be put towards my music.

  13. If I had the opportunity to take a year off, I would probably not take it.

    The reason being, I would lose all inspiration and after a year of doing what I want would not want to go back to School.

    But if I was forced into taking a year off I would take full advantage of the opportunity. I would first take one month for myself and do absolutely nothing. I would sit around, sleep, eat, and watch tv. After that first month of noting, I would work at golf course for the next 11 months. Working at a golf course would allow me to work limited hours. And plus, be in an environment that I love. I grew up on the golf course and working at one would allow me to play everyday.

  14. I would travel the world.

    I know that it sounds very clique, but to me, the popularity factor is not important, because even if I wanted to stand on my head for a year, I would do it. I have always wanted to travel around the world, and I think the year between high school and college would be a grand time. I would be young enough to handle the rigors of travel and it would still have that ‘romantic’ vibe to it but mature enough to appreciate the great feats of mankind. I find it odd to think that even though we read about other countries on the internet and see their shape with an atlas, many of us never leave the continent in which we were born. Mankind has created all of these modes of transportation and so why should they not be used? We no longer live in the Middle Ages, hunkered down in a one room cottage for fear of the neighborhood dragon, but rather we live in a society that demands to be explored.

    I especially want to travel because I, being the book worm that I am, want to see all the wonderful places that I have read about. I want to see the David, the Parthenon, and Notre Dame and not just touch it on paper. My love of paper has introduced a new thirst to me– a thirst to travel. I think it would be foolish not to appease this quench for more knowledge simply because it is not ‘practical’ to travel out of cell phone range.

    So you ask what would the overall ‘impact’ of this traveling have on my life?

    I believe it would impact all the nooks and crannies of my soul, from the simple being able to say that I walked along the Champs-Élysées to the memories that would shape my professional and personal life. To have an understanding of the people with whom we share this world is not something I can learn by going on Wikipedia, but by eating at the same cafes as them and walking the same streets. To see how the world works and know that there are other people and places out there than those which we see everyday– is that not reason enough?

  15. I’d probably go live in Japan for a year. I think it’d be cool to visit and take in all the sights. I might go compete in Ninja Warrior, this competition they have over there. Just for the sake of competing anyway. I’ve also wanted to see if it is actually filled with advertisements and that cramped in Tokyo.

    I also might go and checkout some conventions there. My only true intention is to actually travel out of the country. No wait, maybe I could go to England or Australia. I know a few friends there so It’d be interesting to meet them.

  16. If i could take one year off between high school and college, I’m not sure what I would do. I though that I might take some sort of mission trip to an impoverished country, but there are so many other things.

    It would feel incredibly weird not going to school for awhile. It would feel like some big part of my life was missing.

    Another I could do is join a band and tour the U.S. I’m not sure how this would work out but I am sure it would be fun. Any one of those things would be a great experience.

  17. If I could take off one year before going to college, I would definitely travel. I don’t know exactly where I would go yet, but somewhere across seas would be nice. I have never been anywhere outside the US besides Mexico. So I haven’t been able to have the experience of flying oversea or witnessing different cultures. A lot of my friends have been to Europe and it sounds amazing. I have always been interested in traveling there since I was little. Going somewhere like Ireland, Germany, or Spain would be just amazing. Some of my dad’s family is from Germany, so it would be cool to learn about my heritage. I also want to see some of the Middle East, such as India. The customs there are so interesting, and it would be a once in a lifetime experience. Since money is supposed to be considered though, I could probably only go to one country. I would probably choose to go to Ireland. I have seen pictures of the landscape in some of the country sides of Ireland, and they are beautiful. The atmosphere there would change my life! I think a trip to Ireland would impact the rest of my life!

  18. If I could take a gap year, I would travel to Australia.

    For the first few months I would love to travel around and experience everything they have to offer. After I have seen everything , I would like to work at the Australia Zoo!

    I grew up loving Steve Irwin and everything he did, he made such a great impact on the world. He also loved animals, even though he knew they could be very dangerous. I would love to work at the zoo and also try and make an impact on the animals that live there. He made others open up to animals, and I would love to contribute to that. I think it would be a very good life experience!

  19. If I were to take a gap year I would spend my precious time wisely. I would say that I would want to take care of any unfinished college buisness or what not to make sure that I was set for the following year. I would probably travel during this time though. I am not an expert on life or anything but it would seem to me as if your chances to travel would be limited once you start college and on, considering juggling with school and a job and other obligations. I would travel to many places if the money allowed and take the time to expierence the different cultures. It would not only be a time to experience other lifestyles, but to also reflect on my life’s journey so far and what life has planned for me ahead. This trip would definatly impact the rest of my life.

  20. If I had a gap year between high school and college, I would join the Peace Corps.

    The Peace Corps Volunteers travel overseas to make real differences in the lives of less fortunate people in under-served countries. I would choose to work in the country Niger. Niger’s harsh climate, lack of natural resources, and rapid population growth make it one of the world’s poorest countries. Peace Corps Volunteers in Niger work in agriculture, environment, community development, youth education, and health projects to help Nigerien communities and to promote sustainable development. I would not aimlessly be useless if I took a year off. I would try my best to help those who have been forgotten about.

    Referring to community servants, Calvin Coolidge said it best…“Little progress can be made by merely attempting to repress what is evil; our great hope lies in developing what is good.”

  21. If I could have a gap year, I would use it to travel to Africa, I would love to volunteer and truly help. I have always wanted to be a part of saving Africa, I would do anything I could for all of the people that lived there. I would use that entire year to give back, for once I wouldn’t want to focus on myself and my friends and family. I love helping others, I usually do what I can even around our community, but going to Africa would be a life changing experience for me. It would help all of us see how much we take advantage of everything we have. We are so fortunate to live in America and to be able to afford to go to such an amazing school, so many other kids don’t have even half of what we do. I would just feel alot better about everything if I could go and do my part for Africa. They need more help than anything, and if I had the opportunity to do something for them, I would.

  22. I will like to travel around the world if I could take off one year between high school and college. I will travel around the world by myself. I think it is going to be fun, and won’t just travel around. It will also practice my independence and all kind of life experience. In this way, I can also know more people around the world and get to learn more culture. Everyone only have a life, and the youth will never be back. It will not only be a little trip for me, but a trip which can change my life.

  23. If I could take a year off between high school graduation and college I would probably want to go to Africa and Australia. I want to go on the safari in Africa and see all the animals. I haven’t been sight seeing in Africa either. It would be great if I could do that also. I would want to see all the kangaroos in Australia. I would also visit my family there. I haven’t met my family that lives in Australia in a long time.

  24. If I could take a year off, I would definitely travel. I can’t honestly say that I know exactly where I would go but my main goal would just be meeting people. I have always wanted to write, and I think that strangers bring an interesting and unique quality to a story. There are so many different people in the world living such unique lives and I really don’t think there is a better subject to write about. Also, being away from the pressure of school and not having to deal with deadlines and other classes, would really give me the chance to focus and develop as a writer. I would be free to mature and grow in a stress free environment which is definitely not something that I’m used to. I think that when I returned to school, I would have something to show for my time away and would hopefully be able to impress my superiors with my work.

  25. If I were to take a gap year I would probably volunteer. Every summer I am a counselor for blind kids at a summer camp and I love it. The kids are so incredible facing the challenges that they do everyday and I get to experience it. I love the feeling that I get when I’m helping someone, especially children. If I weren’t to volunteer, I would find someway to help kids whether It was a camp counselor or traveling somewhere overseas. I would probably end up getting a job with kids because the money is a factor in my decision but the location doesn’t matter to me at all. I love traveling and if I could travel and do something I love that would be amazing.

  26. I know most people would like to travel, and going somewhere seems like a good idea, too. But a year is a long time to just travel. I would actually like to stay home and take short trips around Texas, especially the western part. Maybe a week or two at a ranch, but I will get bored with anything more. Travelling far for a long time like a year does not sound good to me. I still want to tackle more courses.

    The thing I would love to do is to take some tough courses at a college, but without the worries of grade points. For once, I wish I could go to a class, do the assignments and tests, without the fears of making a bad mark and disappointing myself and everyone else. I know I can work in an honor system in which I will learn and do all the assignment the teacher deems necessary. If I don’t get something at first, I always really try hard to make sure I get it. So to get permanent bad grade is really not reflecting of my true knowledge of the course, in my opinion. If I could take a course and learn it thoroughly just because I need to know the material, that would be great. I would work hard with peace and even joy. I wouldn’t be afraid to make mistakes and think outside the box in giving my answers to the teacher. Otherwise, I would still move on with my learning.

    A year of no classes after high school would leave me bored and restless.

  27. First, I never heard of a gap year before but I have wished for more time. Actually, I have always wanted to pause time and do as much as I can in that paused moment. In that paused time, I would also like to be reassured that I won’t age in that paused moment or any other side effects. That way, I can get all the time in the world. However, since that is unlikely to happen, I guess a gap year would be the closest to my wishes although I am not sure which year I would like my gap year in.

    During my gap year, I would like to do a variety of activities since I do not have one main interest but rather a wide variety (even my interest inventory on Discover could not figure out what my main interest is). One of the first things I would do is learn some business from my mom to help out with her work. During my off time, I might write a couple of books that I have thought about but never really had the time for. I would also like to draw, dance, and audition for plays. I would also like to get a chance to many other activities but those are the main ones. I would also travel somewhere, probably Alaska, if time and money allows. When the gap year is coming to an end, I will do school work to review over what I had forgotten over the gap year and to get ahead. Throughout my gap year, I will also squeeze in time for reading books that are mainly fantasy fiction and perhaps surf the internet and watch TV once in awhile.

  28. The more and more I think about it the more I want to go to a military academy. If I had a gap year I would try to make sure that I had everything perfect for an academy. I’m still not sure if I want to go to one, but I would try as hard as I could to make sure I looked as good as Ican to get into an academy. I would visit the campuses of the different academies and do whatever I could to make myself look good. I would like to also do some traveling. There’s places in Europe that I really want to see and wouldn’t be able to If I was training in an academy. The best of the best go into U.S. military academies and I really want to be apart of that elite group.

  29. I think that if I had a ‘gap year’ then I would travel. It’s a goal of mine to travel the world before I die, and if I had that year then I would do just that. I would probably start off in Europe, with Franc and England and all the big names. Then I would head to more nondescript places that take some time to find. I’m generally a curious person, so I want o find out about the world. Find answers to questions, and come up with new questions to be answered. Plus I just think the whole experience would be interesting and amazing to go through. I want to go alone, yet I’m not sure if I could go to all those unfamiliar places without a familiar face. I also think that this experience would help me write my book, and generally change my out look on things, hopefully for the better. I know that I won’t get this year, but I fear that I am going to need it. Once I graduate high school, I’ll generally be burned out when it comes to the ways of schooling. It’s already happening. I also think that this trip could help me just let go of all my stress, before it gets even worse as I start college.

  30. In my ‘gap’ year, I would choose to do a year of community service. Something I have always been interested in would be joining the Peace Corps. I would want to do something for my country and do something in a non-violent setting. Joining the Peace Corps would allow me to help others and I think it would be a life changing experience. Also, it would bring in the element of travel. It would open my eyes to a way a life I’ve never seen. I would be able to provide help to the starving and impoverished. I have always had an interest in joining, but my plans have focused only on getting to college. If I could take a ‘gap’ year, I would join the Peace Corps in a heartbeat.

  31. If I had one year to take off between the end of High school and the start of College I would do one thing, travel. I would go to different states here in the US and learn all about different career oppurtunities that I might want to pursue after College. I would look at various professions ranging from news anchor all the way to plumber. Although if you graduate College usually you dont go into plumbing. I would travel until I found my “niche” in society. Then I would be content to go off to college. So a gap year would really be great for me to get out and get educated about my future life.

  32. If I could, out of some miraculous reason, afford a ‘gap’ year, I would probably use it to re-visit my past homes of my childhood. Even the ones that I can’t remember, due to young age. I think that a trip like that could reconnect me to how my life started out differently than that of most children that I met through life. Most of my friends were born in an area, go to school there and may have occassionally gone to the neighboring country for vacation. I lived in one country for a year or two, then moved on into another new and unfamiliar landscape. I believe that my that due to my diverse childhood homes, I can understand cultural differences better. I have lived in a Hindu country, a Buddhist country, a Christian and an Orthodox Christian world and even for three years, in a Muslim country. Revisiting India, where it all began for me, would rekindle my passion for diversity and difference. India which is a very agricultural and just in general very traditional country, is far different than the very futuristic Japan and nearly third-world Jordan. To sum it all up, my ‘gap’ year would involve a lot of travelling and deja vu moments.

  33. If I got to take a year off after high school graduation I would like to work on a ranch in a place like Wyoming. I feel like the hard work required on a ranch would build character. You have to get up at 5 in the morning to start working. It makes you have discipline which would really help out in college. I would learn a lot about how to fix things and the physical work would make me strong. I would learn to be responsible for the animals. The cattle would be dependent on me for their survival. If I ever had any spare time while there I would like to go backpacking through the mountains and test my survival skills. I think it would be a great experience.

  34. If I had 1 year to take off from college, I think that I might go to Africa and help out the villages there. To me the turmoil that is happening in Africa is horrible. The genocide between African tribes, the pollution that is constant, and even the soldiers that are supposed to be helping the African people, but instead, raid their villages, killing the men and raping the woman. It is horrible. I would do anything to help them, and with that time I think that I could make a difference. Whether it being in helping further the education of the children, or helping out throughout the villages in Africa. This would mean the world to me to go help them, and it would fulfill my adventurous attitude. It would be amazing to see the savanna and go into the Rain Forests of Africa. Also to see the wild life would be very influential to me. This is what I would do if I had a “Gap” period.

  35. Of corse if I took a ‘gap year’ I would want to travel the world, but because money is not limitless and you do only have a year, I don’t thnk a world tour would be quite practical. I would love to travel to Sweden but, haha I’m doing that next summer so that dream would already be fufilled. If I took a gap year I think for a couple of months of that year I would go to Syria. My dad is Syrian which makes me 1/2 but I have never been there and really I know nothing about it. Although most of my family on my dad’s side moved to Arizona slightly before my dad was born, I know I have some family still down there. I think it would be really cool to just take some time to visit down there and learn about the culture and see hiw beautiful it is. After going down there for a few months I would really love to travel to Ireland. Ive always been intrigued by Ireland and my old school was supposed to go there, but of corse it shut down. Ive always been really regretful that I never got to go and I think in a month I could travel and learn about Ireland. After those two trips, I would have about 8 months left of my trip. Traveling to obscure places and countries sound so exciting, but there is so much of the United States, the place I live, that I have never seen. Everyone always thinks to go out of the country when you have the chance, which is amazing, but there is so much beauty in our own back yard. I would travel around the US with no agenda whatsoever, just visiting the places in the country Ive never been.

    It think because I wouldn’t have anyone with me, no parents or friends that a gap year would be a great expirence. It would be a good time to learn about other palaces, but also to learn more about yourself before you headed off to college and life.

  36. I’m sure many have mentioned this, but in my gap year I would definitely travel to many areas of the world. There are so many places out there where so many people have not been which is so exciting. Learning about new cultures and what their backgrounds have been like would be a great experience. Due to our busy lives, many of us do not have the eligibility to travel and do the things that we want to do. That’s why the gap year could be a great part of your life where you found the time to relax, get away from your studies, and travel to different places. For me, I would really enjoy traveling to Australia, going to different areas in Europe, and possibly exploring in some of the regions around South America. I’m sure the people that take these gap years are really appreciating the time they have to themselves.

  37. I would like to pursue a career in the Navy. I want to be a nurse because they would pay for all my schooling. It would also prepare me for the pediatrics field. I would be serving my country and getting a great education at the same time. I don’t believe I would take a year off to just sit around because I would get bored, lazy, and extremely fat. I would most likely do all my traveling after all my school is done. The stress level would probably way less than it is right now, but then i’d start to worry whether i’d be able to go back to school after not going for a year and becoming lazy.

  38. If I took a gap year the most obvious thing for me to do would be to rodeo. I already compete in Professional Youth Rodeo and I would most likely go into the higher circuits if I had a whole year off to not worry about school. Money is usually not a problem because most of the time I win back my entry fees and more. This would impact my life because it’s what I love to do. I spend most weekends traveling across north Texas and it makes me happy. This would have a impact on my future because when I get to college its going to be harder to rodeo while keeping up with school and a job. So I see it as I get in as much as I can now and then do as much as I can later.

  39. My “Gap Year” would be an eight month exploration of Europe. Getting lost, attempting to follow an itinerary, falling in love, not necessarily with a woman but with all sorts of things, anything. Relaxing, being frantic, trying new things, food, religions, clothing styles, find what I like. I’d like to go with a great friend who I can trust my life with, incase a life or death situation confronts us.

    Maybe get in a little trouble, maybe take it a little too far. I really don’t know, that’s the point though isn’t it?

    Then after maybe….. “Choose life. Choose a job. Choose a starter home. Choose dental insurance, leisure wear and matching luggage. Choose your future. But why would anyone want to do a thing like that?” — from the movie, Trainspotting.

    P.S. Line from Trainspotting edited quite a bit by the way.

  40. Taking a gap year used to be exactly what I wanted to do. I had planned on visiting any and every country that I could think of. I wanted to spend it like a photo field trip, seeing and photographing every natural phenomena. I wanted to experience every possible atmosphere that I could, trying to find where I am happiest in the world. Adding to my experiences was going to be the goal of the trip. I think everything in life should lead to ultimate happiness. After thinking this through however, I decided that I would benefit more from a study abroad program, so that I could still experience, but my procrastination wouldn’t get the best of me, and I wouldn’t fall behind a year in school. If I were to not think of school though, I would love to backpack all around the world. I think that a year between high school and college is the perfect time to take a big trip though. It would be much more difficult to return to a 9 to 5 job than a classroom, much more disappointing to go back to a room instead of coming back to a door.

  41. I would love to be able to work on the space program. I want to try and improve the private space flight concept. Think how cool it would be to be able to travel to the moon one day just as a normal person. I think that it would make everyone appreciate the Earth more getting to see its beauty from such a distance and it might be a good thing for the whole green project. I just think it would be so cool to be able to say I helped make that no matter what significance it is. Even if only rich people could ride to the moon, it would still be amazing to have your name on the banner during the first flight. Plus you might be able to get some very exclusive jobs after taking part in these operations.

  42. Now that I think about it a gap year is exactly what I need. A nice break from studying would be great, but most importantly I need to figure some things out and really need to be accurate in my decision making for the future.

    I think that if took a year off I would use it mainly to find something that I am interested in and try to think of what I want to do for the rest of my life. I don’t want to have to quickly choose a college and then in a couple years have to choose what I want to do with my life. I would love to be able to go around and visit many professionals and see the benefits and negatives of that profession. Also I would use that year to work on my strength for basketball, because not only would I like to try and play college basketball, I just love to play and I plan on playing it for the rest of my life. I would visit hospitals, small businesses, huge corporations, music studios, art galleries, and everything and anything that I desired. And I would also include traveling while I was searching for professions. I would go all around the US in search of an interest. Although money is important too me, it’s not the most important thing to me. I rather do something that made me happy. And I really think that I could use a year to do that and pursuit something that would make me happy for the rest of my life. If this gap year is a serious possibility I would love to learn more about it.

  43. Something that I have always wanted to do and that would have an impact on society and the world would be to volunteer for the community such as a place like the United Way. Having the “gap” year would allow me to spend time without stress to help to community by volunteering. The reason I know about a place like the United Way was because, my mom did something very similar to this in her lifetime. My mom decided that she needed to give back to the community and so she volunteered for the United Way about seven years ago for over two years. Working at the United Way, you help to raise money for the community, help the organization raise money, and actually work one on one with people within the community. One thing in specific that I was very intreged by was a organization within United Way called Meals On Wheels. They actually use some of the money raised from United Way and get volunteers from United Way to deliver meals to the homeless and to the elderly who can no longer afford or have access to making a meal. I admire the sacrifice she made for the community and I saw the growth she made as a person and mother and by volunteering for the community. By doing this, it would help the community and would help me to grow as a person in many ways.

  44. I have always heard gap years were bad ideas; students returning from them tend to struggle to remember their high school curriculums. Rather, taking off a semester or a year mid-way thorugh college seems an attractive and likely proposition for me. Regardless of when, if I could take a year off I would go to teach English in Japan. My aunt taught there for a while and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I love many aspects of Japanese culture, not to mention Japanese food. Teaching Japanese high school students would be an exciting and informative experience. The Japan of today is both steeped in history and tradition and filled with technology and modern wonders. If I took a year off, I would love to teach and live in Japan for a year.

  45. If I could take a year off from college I would travel to Europe. Europe is a beautiful place and has so much life in that continent. Their cultural and environment is breath taking and teaches a lot to any kind of human. In Europe the countries I would visit would be Paris, London, and Milan. I choose these three countries becasue one I love fashion and they are known for fashion, and two they have so many place and sites to see. If I went to Europe after I graduated college, I truely believe it woulod teach me things I would later long use in life. Seeing such marvilous sites right before your eyes changes your soul forever and even your outlook on life. The shopping and learning about fashion would blow my mind away to because I love that kind of stuff. In fashion you can tell a lot about a person in their personality. In life I think everyone should get to travel to Europe because when they come back they will be a different person.

  46. When i was in sixth grade I knew a guy who was a freshman in college who talked about a trip he and his friend wanted to take but as far as I know never did. It sparked my interest more than any other trip i can really think of and I really have planned on doing it one day, but I’m not sure when because of my real plans after high school. But if i was given the oppurtunity to have a year between high school and college I would take this trip. The trip spans from mid february to the end of october. The trip they planned was to go on the road with enough money for food, gas, and rooms and travel to major league baseballs spring training to watch all the teams prepare for the season and play exhibition games. Then, when the season started, to travel around the country and watch every major league team play at every stadium in the country. That’s a minimum of thirty games because there are thirty teams with thirty home stadiums. But if it were my trip I would take one friend maybe two and try to go to a couple games in each city. That way we wouldn’t be on the move the whole time we could stay in each location for a few days each, plus down time if you beat the team to their next home game and have a day or to. Then when october came around there’s the playoffs which would be amazing. I think the trip would porbably be one of the most fulfilling, relaxing things I could ever hope to do in my life. Every day spent at a Rangers game for me is one of the best, so imagine having that feeling up to sixty or more times in a year. The best part would probably be sharing the experience with those friends, I can’t imagine a better bonding experience. That’s my trip, I hope I one day have the means to take it.

  47. If I could take one year off between high school and college I would go to Paris. I have always dreamed about going to Paris and seeing all of the sights and the beautiful scenery. If I had the chance, I would go there with a bunch of my friends and live there for a while. I think the different cultures of our world are absolutely mezmorizing. I think going away with all of my friends to a beautiful city would be the perfect way to spend a year away from school. However, although I would love to shop around all day, I would really enjoy researching medicine in France. Everywhere in the world is unique for everything, in every way. I think it would be fascinating to research the difference between medicine in France as opposed to American medicine. I hope that some day I will be able to fulfill my dream and travel to Paris, and have the time of my life with my friends.

  48. If I were to take a gap year between high school and college, I would do two things.

    First, I would have a lesson with the famous music teachers in our country and around the world to see which one fits me the best. A good music teacher needs to have produced good students already and I would search for those teachers first. This way, I can pick where I would go to for college or after college so I can benefit the most. I would also make sure that the music teacher would like me too so that I would be one of his favorite students, instead of being ‘someone I have to teach at 5:00 pm tomorrow”. A good teacher-student relationship is very important. A teacher who sees me as one of his favorite students would be more passionate about teaching me. In turn, if I like the teacher who’s teaching me, I would want to learn more from the teacher and therefore want to impress the teacher to get the most out of it. If I could take a gap year, doing this would be very important for my future. Although traveling costs a truckload, it will be worth it to ensure success in what I want to do. The schedule for the gap year would be more relaxed, allowing me to take time and be careful about making the right choice for me.

    The second thing I’ll do is to spend more time with my family. My schedule is already extremely rigorous right now and I find that I never have time to really go on a nice vacation to another country like France or China without having to worry about due dates or missing important events. Once I go off to college, I really won’t have time to be with my family. The friends at college and the courses themselves that I have to take will keep me busy. And in the summer, I’ll probably be off at different music camps trying to grab more opportunities to learn and get better. A good relationship with my family is very important and comes with a ton of advantages.

    A gap year would actually help me a lot for my life. I can take my time and make meaningful decisions for my career while still maintaining a good connection with my family. A gap year will prevent me from cramming everything I want and need to do into my junior and senior years when the time to do stuff will be vastly limited.

  49. if i could take a year off before starting college i would travel to Paris to study abroad. I would also go to many countries help out and volunteer. I love giving to those less fortunate than me and i think it could really affect me later in life. i am all about helping others. I think it would be awesome to give back. I think that life’s should always be about giving. i think that if i took this year break it would give me an idea of what i want out of college and high school. Many kids in the world arent as lucky as me and i want to show them what i could offer to their lives. i also think that going to foreign place would show me how cool my life is here in the US. If i took time with the world i think that i could make a difference. Thats all i want to do!!

  50. If I could take a year of from high school I’d spend that entire year practicing the sport that I love the most, soccer. Ever since I was a kid I remember watching professional soccer games on television and longing to be like them. My biggest goal in the future is to be able to play soccer in Europe. In my opinion, soccer, or football as it’s really called, in Europe is the best there is. So if I could take a year off from school I will go to a soccer training camp, in Europe most likely, to pursue my future career as a professional footballer. I can’t think of anything better than being able to live life doing what you like best. That thing for me is soccer and I hope that in the future I’m able to make my goal come true.

  51. My gap year would most likely be longer than 1 year. There are a lot of places I want to go see if I could before life’s responsibilities. I want to learn about different cultures, see the beautiful landscapes, and the native creatures. I would first fly to Ireland, were I have wanted to go my whole life. I love their accent and the native language Gaelic. One of my family’s’ favorite holidays is St. Patrick’s Day and we listen to a lot of Celtic music.

    After Ireland, I would take trains and boats to traverse all of Europe. My next stop would be Scotland, where I would go to a highland festival to see sheep herding, competitions of throwing the caber, and the hammer throw. I would also go see some traditional highland dancing and Nessie of course. Denmark is the land of my Viking ancestors, Macbeth and some cool castles. I’ve been to London for a weekend and we didn’t get to explore that much, so I definitely want to go back and see a play in the west end, some cool estates, and maybe the Lake District in the north of England. I wouldn’t want to spend all my time in Europe though because I’d like to live there later. So I’d head for South America.

    My oldest brother lived in Brazil for 2 years on a mission. When he came back, he told stories of spiders the size of dinner plates that would fall from the trees with loud thumps, ants so large and in such numbers that if they were crossing the road, you turned and went the opposite way, and of snakes so large they would eat farm animals. From a distance, I would like to see some of the animals that live in the Amazon and Pantanal (one of the largest swamps in the world) … over 30 ft long anacondas, 200 lb fish, piranhas, caiman alligators and rodents of unusual size (capybara). I also would like to see Iguazu falls on the Brazil/Argentine border. While in Latin America I would go back to some of my favorite places I’ve been… the Patagonia in Chile, Lake Atitlan in Guatemala and then add the Incan ruins in Peru.

    I would then in to the west to middle earth otherwise known as New Zealand. Here I would go to the south island and hike the Milford track and see the Lord of the Rings sites.

  52. If I could take one year off my intelectual experience and indeverse I would venture in a country I had not been in before. I would experience its different culture. The reason for doing this would be to expand myself socialy and intelectualy. There I could experience things I would not be able in the clasroom. Therefore through learning from the actions and experiences I could become a better person. My knowledge would expand socially and intelectually. This would be far from what I could learn in a classroom.

  53. Student Response #1

    I am responding to student #8.

    At first, your post made me laugh, because my parents would probably kill me also if I took a gap year. Although I wouldn’t want to take a gap year myself, I can see why you would want to. You have a very sincere purpose, you don’t want to take a year off to do nothing, you want to do something meaningful with your life that will help you later on. Your want of a freedom from commitments, deadlines, and not having time is something that probably applies to all of us. I hope that someday you will find the time to write down your ideas and actually work on your books. A great idea is hard to contain. I don’t know what it would feel like to not be able to get my ideas on paper. Most people probably don’t need a gap year. However, you have a legitimate, sincere cause and I believe a gap year would be extremely beneficial to the rest of your wife, ignoring the murder part of course.

  54. Student Response #2

    I am responding to student 14

    When I read that you wanted to visit Japan I thought hmmm that would be cool. Then when you said Ninja Warrior I was so excited! I love that show and it would be so cool to compete on! And it would be interesting to see if all the assumptions about how crammed it is there are true! Then you said just traveling out of the country so I figured it would be to get away from everyone you know. But that came back at me when you said that it would be to visit friends, which I think would be cool. If someone lived over there, they could give you the insider’s tour. You wouldn’t feel quite like a tourist. I like your plan student 14 and that would be something cool to do for that year.

  55. Student Response #3

    I’m commenting on student #39

    It would be really awesome to look into a space program during a gap year. I’m really into space travel but I know that if I go into space I have to come back down. I already hate roller coasters so I don’t think I’ll enjoy falling from the sky. If I didn’t have to come down I might actually look into it as a career. I’ve gone to a few space programs during summer breaks and they’re really fun. You don’t actually get to go into space but it’s surprising how much you learn. I had no idea how hard it was to be an astronaut before I went to them. Just the physical tole it takes on you is astounding. They actually spend most of their time in space exercising so their muscle mass doesn’t completely deteriorate without the gravity. It’s amazing to thing that one day we might have a city in space because of the work they do up there.

  56. Student Response #4

    I am responding to student #7.

    It seems to me that like me you like the idea of taking a gap year. Also during this year you would follow your dream and act, as I want to follow mine and write. (creepy huh? jk) But unlike you I would not like the uncertainty of the back pack and bike. It’s awesome that you are open to that kind of freedom. Also I see traveling snuck into your post as I believe it did in everyone’s. As for starting to work on a hobby? I believe this is one thing that a gap year can provide. I believe that being able to concentrate on something we love for an entire year would be amazing and is something that everyone can desire.

    Oh and thanks for this entry Mr. Long! It was awesome and by seeing how many responded I believe I am not alone in my opinion. However, now you have made me want to take a gap year 😦 and I don’t think I would be allowed.

    ***

    Mr. Long: You’re absolutely welcome. While I’m not suggesting that any of you should change your goals re: college and life beyond high school, I am fascinated by what people’s real passions are in regards to what the future could hold. Ultimately, we are all best served when we know what we want to pursue…and why. All careers (and all colleges, for that matter) — regardless of paychecks (or tuition dollars) — risk being ‘just a job’ (or ‘just another school’) if we don’t look beyond the surface of our initial decisions/desires. And too many adults look back on their life, regretting that they didn’t pursue something that they were truly passionate about (within reason, of course). BTW, tell your parents that I’m not condoning that you drop out of school, ride odd trains around the world, and just ‘be’. I’m a big fan of college. Trust me. I’m just a bigger fan of ‘learning’. (smile)

  57. Student Response #5

    I am responding to student number 2

    I love the slight sense of humor in this blog, it definitely makes someone want to read it even more. I really like how they pulled off talking about just seeing animals, and then sunk in deeper to an actually meaning. When I read “I want to be able to look out at a zebra, and know exactly what he or she is looking for” It really pulled me in because it is one of those things that you actually have to sit down and adore. If someone was just walking by each animal at the zoo, they would never consider that that animal might actually have something on their mind just like we do. What are they actually looking for? Great question. I think this would be a great thing to pursue in a gap year, especially because it has meaning, and it leads toward what you actually want to do in life. I think that this blog was well done, and possibly even gave someone else an idea who might have been considering that career.

  58. Student Response #6

    Responding to student #19

    I think it’s cool you would go join the peace corps . It’d be interesting experience. Helping out the less fortunate is always a good thing. The gratification and happy thoughts you get after all you’ve done. Rather than travel for selfish reasons or for the sake of visiting a different country, you’d rather spend a year’s worth and help others. That’s very considerate. It’s obvious that you put some real thought into this.

    ***

    Mr. Long: Just last weekend I learned that 2 very dear friends (husband and wife) have given up 2 very successful careers, sold everything they own (save for a futon and one vehicle currently), and are about ready to start their 2 year Peace Corps stint this May in Fiji. I’m in awe of their decision…esp. since they ‘gave up’ so much to simply ‘serve’ in the process.

  59. Student #51 (late)

    If I had a gap year I’d spend it doing things that I haven’t been able to do. I’ll spent about 10 months working some sort of a hard, factory job in the automobile business. I probably will go to Detroit to do this. I want to do this because I want to know how living a hard life feels. I want that satisfaction of earning my money through hard work. After those 10 months I plan on having a full-fledged blow out. I’ll spend the 11th month visiting other states. I probably won’t visit any other countries mainly because I’m not fond of other countries. I think I want to visit Nevada, Massachusetts, Michigan, Illinois, Louisana, Florida, and California. I don’t plan on going to see the sights or monuments or anything like that. I just plan on going there and doing whatever I feel like doing. I just want to have a full year of drifting around, getting in trouble, and doing things my way for once. During this period I plan on maximizing my fun to it’s greatest potential. I plan on having so much fun that I’ll never want to have fun ever again. The 12th month I’ll rest and do absolutely nothing. After that it’s back to the same-ol, same-ol routines, responsibilities and commitments.

  60. Student Response #7

    I am responding to student 40, and the student response #5.

    I definitly agree with you and think a nice break from school and studying would be amazing. Actually, it would be too good to be true, obviously. But I liked what you said about having to be acurate about your descision and career. It makes total sense.

    Ok, student response #5:
    Thank you! Your response seriously touched me, in a way. The fact that you cared about me caring for animals is very encouraging. Im glad you actually took the time out to “sit down and adore” it. It means a lot to me, so thanks! :’)

  61. Student Response #8

    I am responding to Student #7:

    I think that it’s really cool to use your gap year and pursue an acting career, auditioning for show after show after show. If acting is something that you’re passionate about, then what better way to use your year than doing something you love? Also, you’re backpacking trip sounds really interesting! I thought it was funny how you worded that “the only thing you’d have to deal with is staying alive.” I actually wouldn’t mind doing something like that myself! Trains are also pretty much awesome, but it does seem like no one has time for them anymore. Using your break for charity and photography is also really thoughtful and really cool! I can’t help but wonder if you’d be able to fit all of these goals into just one year!

  62. Student Response #9

    I am responding to Student #17

    I absolutely loved your entry! I have never been to Australia but that is also a place I would like to visit. I love animals and I think it would be amazing to go to the zoo there as well. It sounds like you are passionate about animals and I think that is amazing. I enjoy the fact that you would like to contribute to others opening up to animals. Animals need rights too and I think that it’s great you want to help them. That has always been a dream of mine to help animals, and see all the different types of creatures that live in that part of the world. I agree with you when you said that it would be good life experience. So I really enjoyed your entry and I hope that one day you are able to go to Australia and work at the zoo!

  63. Student Response #10

    I’m responding to Student # 23.

    This is exactly what I want to do! You couldn’t have worded it more perfectly. I’d love to just think, observe, and write, without anything getting in the way. With school out of the picture for a while, there’d no longer be that gnawing urge to get things done, to not waste time. Because not one minute of that year would be a waste of time. It would all go to unhindered inspiration and development as a writer. People are fascinating to watch (if not done creepily), as is studying other cultures and how different people live. I think ancient peoples are the most fascinating, and I’d also like to tour ruins and painted caves and museums about them.

    Right now I’m reading The Clan of the Cave Bear, which is about a girl living with a more primitive branch of the human race. It is the coolest, most fascinating thing I have ever read.

  64. Student Response #11

    I am responding to Student #10.

    I love love the idea of going to England to write. I have family in London and last year for winter break my dad an I went to visit for Christmas. It was amazing! I was there for two weeks and still felt like I had barely seen anything. I really like the idea of going abroad to write. I think that it would be really useful to just submerge yourself in a different culture and way of life. Besides for writing purposes, I just think that would be an awesome life experience. I also have always wanted to go to Italy. Hopefully we will both be able to go someday!

  65. Student Response #12

    I am responding to Student #20

    I admire your desire to want to volunteer your time to serve others in an attempt to give back. I also think it is honorable that you would turn off the spotlight directed at you and your family and shine it directly upon those who need your help in Africa. I also like your self-reflection when you write that an experience such as this would help you see how much you take for granted. Very often, people assume that lighting, fresh water, a safe place to sleep and adequate access to health care is guaranteed. In some regions of Africa and other economically depressed nations, these things are considered luxuries. Mostly, I congratulate you on recognizing how incredibly fortunate you (and others) are. Your willingness to acknowledge your good fortune combined with your wish to help out others will teach you more than you could learn in any academic setting. College can not teach you or me or any student to be compassionate and caring people. We must be student community servants to learn those qualities.

  66. Student Response #13

    I am responding to student #31

    This is such an interesting idea and really caught my eye. To have lived in so many different places is amazing and it has never occurred to me that deja vu moments could be created. The idea of visiting such magnificent places is one thing but to have actually lived there is quite another. I always go to my old neighborhood where I grew up until first grade and I think that it is a cool thing to do and memories just come flooding back, but to travel to a different country I can’t imagine the memories that would reveal themselves. Those travels would probably reveal memories that this student was not even aware they had within them. This is such an inspiring idea and even if done on a smaller scale like, revisiting old neighborhoods or schools, the idea still strikes me as interesting. Locations and buildings are powerful in that they can remind us of different times in our lives when we were different people, and I think it is always important to remember where we came from. I love this idea and hope this student gets a chance to do it!

  67. Student Response #14

    I am responding to Student #12

    Now that I think about it, taking time at home and doing nothing seems fun. With no responsibilities, I can relax as much as humanly possible. For you, being on the golf course is where you’ve always been. For me, being in a place that I’m familiar with is quite enjoyable and comfortable. Spending time some place I already know is pretty nice. After I go to college, I will probably forget that just relaxing at an accustomed place is sometimes the best thing to do. My mind as a college student would be going out and exploring the world, not staying at someplace I am used to, and I feel a little bad if I forget all the places that don’t require change to be attractive. This comment made me rethink my aspirations of what I would do in my gap year.

  68. Student Response #15

    I’m responding to student #11

    I think its awesome that you would spend your whole year working on your music. I have always wanted to really dedicate myself to playing an instrument. I have taken both piano and guitar lessons in the past, and while I enjoyed them at the time, I lost interest in one and just never had the time to continue with the other. Now as I’m getting older I miss playing those instruments and hearing the music sound out and knowing I was the one that was creating it. I guess I didn’t really understand that when i was younger, but now that I do, I want to learn to play again. The problem is that I don’t have the time to do it. Anyways, I also think its cool that you want to learn a whole bunch of instruments and not limit yourself to just one. Like most of the other people that responded to this blog I said I would travel. Now after reading yours I think I might add learning or relearning how to play an instrument to my list.

  69. Student Response #16

    I’m responding to Student #9

    I was scrolling down and yours caught my attention because it had the word Taiwan and doctor. I wasn’t born in Taiwan, my mom and some of my realtives were born there. I now have an aunt and uncle that live there, everybody else is well, one is China, most of are in LA, and I’m like the only one in Texas. I have visited Taiwan many times, and I always have fun there seeing my aunt, in Taipei, and my Uncle, in Tainan. Visit with my cousins, yeah I like it. And speaking of doctors, you know one of my cousins is studying to become a doctor in Taiwan, and he is doing great. I would actually like to visit Taiwan again. I mean thats where I said I would go during my gap year. I would like to see my family again, and maybe go explore the more city and fun side of Taiwan. If I go maybe I’ll see you there. I’m sure it will be a blast.

  70. Student Response #17

    I’m responding to student number 10.

    England is awesome! For some reason I don’t know why I have always wanted to live in either the British country side or England countryside. I have seen pictures and it’s so beautiful. Also the accents they have are so funny and awesome! Not sure if I would spend my time writing though as I don’t like that — hahaha — but that’s a neat idea. I would love to tour the city and go see all the music and stuff that would be fun. Actually I don’t really want to live there permanently but I think it’s a neat idea.

  71. I am responding to student 4:

    I think its cool how being in the quiet and peace is what your choice would be if you could take a year off. I like that you are writing a book. I am a huge poem writer and i think it would be so and clearing and amazing to sit in the mountains and just write. I would love it. Also i think it would be cool to be able to be without technology for a while bc just having you nature and your thinking space would just be fantastic. I am really glad you said this bc i enjoyed responding and getting to think about it.

  72. Student Response #19

    I response for student #5

    I definitely agree with you, if I stop study for a long times I will feel weird, just like if you didn’t do math for a long times, you will calculate slower than before and maybe will forget some formula. Like now we study everyday, but if we skip a year to play around, when you go back to school you might hard to transition from playing to study, so I think it might not a good idea to playing around in the “gap” year. But I am not telling you not to go play and rest, but you might need to know and learn something in the playing, so I think have a travel to Italy and Europe is a very good idea. Again thanks to share your idea.

  73. Student Response #20

    I am responding to Student Number Six.

    Your blog entry really struck me. I was interested in the fact that you want to go to New York (a place I definitely want to go to someday), but when you started talking about going to Africa and South America I became REALLY interested. I feel the exact same way. I feel like I should really be doing something to help other people. I feel guilty about the things I have really often, actually. I feel like I should be helping others, but there’s a bit of me that wants to fulfill my own dreams. So I’m torn, like you! This ‘gap year’ would definitely feel like a gift to me, too, and I’d want to use it in the best way possible. So I’d have to figure out whether it’d be more important to help others, or to fulfill my own dreams. Argh! It’s so hard!

  74. Student Response #21

    I’m responding to student # 33’s entry

    I think it’s great that you actually want to make a difference with your year. I also like how you believe that you can make a difference in such a short time. It’s good that you want to give your year to help Africa. I was concerned about working and traveling. I never really thought about doing something to help other people. I sounds fun to see the savannahs and rainforests. I guesss you get to both rewind and help others.

  75. Student Response #22

    I am responding to Student #19

    First of all, I got to say that joining the Peace Corps sounds massively cool. I have an aunt who joined the Peace Corps when she was younger and I think she went to Africa, too. It sounds like you have done a lot of research on where you would want to go and what you would want to do there. I really respect the fact that you would want to use the time between high school and college to not just help yourself but to help others who are really in need. To be able to make such a difference in someone’s life at a relatively young age can only set you up for great things as an adult.

    I like your line “I would try my best to help those who have been forgotten about.” Organizations like the Peace Corps are really unique and important to our world because they help us remember that there are other people out in the world except those who we see everyday. That’s a pretty fun quote by Coolidge, I agree that he did say it the best.

  76. Student Response #23

    I am responding to student #12.

    I understand why you wouldn’t take the year off. I mean, we will have already worked our butts off by then. Why would we want to take a break after so much hard work to get to college? If the year was necessary, I would take it too. I would really rather have a longer summer break than a year off. Because I didn’t do this blog, I would have to say that I would volunteer at a hospital for some training in the hospital. I also might get a job like you(not golf though). I just have one question for you. Would you not want to do something awesome, like follow your favorite band or something else? This is probably the only time.

  77. Student Response #24

    I am responding to student number twelve.

    I never thought of this entry like that! That is a really good point.. If we were to take a year off of school half of us would most likely not have any desire to return. I really like how you answered with a little bit of reverse psychology. Well done :). But with what you said if you were forced to take a year is really cool too. Now that I think about it, I would probably want a month or so just to relax as well. I also probably would not want to go back to school after! But, what a great entry, I enjoyed reading it, it twisted my mind a little bit, which is always fun 🙂

  78. Student Response #25

    I am responding to student 48.

    I like how you would take your year off to actually do something that you want to do. Not something your family or friends want to do like traveling or backpacking through Europe. Your year off would actually benefit you. And plus, if you work hard enough you might catch a lucky break. Maybe even make some money? I really like how you accept that you are going to have to work extremely hard to get to where you want to be. But maybe if you meet some people, one thing could lead to another and you might end up getting a full ride to some college. But I really just like how you chose something that you will be able to do for the rest of your life and something you can pass down to your kids.

  79. Student Response #26

    I am responding to Student #4

    I believe backpacking in some remote area, without any contact to the world would be awesome for me. I rely to much on my internet, cell phone and other technologies we have these days. Being all alone, maybe with a friend, would make you realize everything you have and make you appreciate it more. It would also allow you to branch out, enjoy everything that nature has to offer, and in your case allow you to finish your novel. If I had the opportunity to take a gap year I would seriously consider going off into a remote area without anything and just live off the world. So thank you for this idea, and who know maybe you will get this opportunity!

  80. Student Response #27

    I’m responding to student #11

    If I gave a gap year, I’ll like to do the same thing as yours. The more life experience I get the more I learn in the future. I will like to work by myself and do everything by myself. It is going to bring another vision of the world. It is really a cool idea; we can spend a year to do what we like to do. We don’t have to go to class and study everyday. In this time, I will try as many things that I have never done before. For example: travel to another country that you never been to by yourself. I promise it is going to help me a lot for my career, and I wish you can be what you want to be.

  81. Student Response #28

    Commenting on student numba 41.

    It seems like a lot of our fellow classmates want to have time to volunteer. United Way sounds like a very cool and influential place. What I liked about your entry is that you were inspired because of your mom. It seems like that’s a great example to have in your life. Not saying that I get along perfectly with my parents and I never disagree with them… ;)…but I think parents can be one of our greatest advisors. We can learn from them, and hopefully talk some with them, too. My parents set a good example for me just like it seems your mom has for you. I think I need to work harder on trying to understand them, because I see that they want the best for me. I think everyone has to work on this, especially as we get more independent and in want of some freedom.

    I think that’s awesome that your mom set an example for you and that’s one thing you want to do in your life.

  82. Student Response #29

    I am respoding to student #20.

    Student # 20 has a very caring heart and that is a true blessing. I think it is so great that they would take off a year from school and be able to do ANYTHING they could want to do and they choose to go to Africa and help the people. I am so greatful that we have people like that in our world. I think after readin student 20’s answer I would change my answer. Instead of doing what I wanted to do for myself I would go to a country where I could give back and help.

    Like student number 20 I am a person who loves to help people and also I am a person who is willing to appreciate the things I have. I am truely blessed to have such a great life and to have parents that are willing to send me to a great school. I can not thank God enough. I think everyone should think like student number 20 and our world would become so much better!

  83. Student Response #30

    Student #37 had a very interesting idea.

    Professional youth rodeo sounds like a blast. When i was younger, I would go to the stock show and rodeo and i thought it was the coolest thing. I’m not sure if it would pay well, but it seems like it would be a lot of fun. Sadly i don’t think i could ever do it because I would probably hurt myself. But for you it sounds very cool.

  84. Student Response #31

    I am responding to student #31.

    First off I’d like to say how cool it is that you have lived in so many countries with so many diffrent cultures and religions. I bet because of that your’e a totally diffrent person with respect of other cultures. I think your ‘gap year’ time would be well spent if you carried it out as in your response. I am a believer that a gap year is for more of finding yourself before college than it is to just have a good time. I absolutely think revisiting the countries of where you used to live could rekindle so many memories for you and help you appreciate the cultures you grew up with. You could revisit your old friends and see how they are doing now a days and compare the countries you used to live in. I think it would be very sentimental and give you more of a pride in yourself with the realization how priveledged and unique you are to be able to live in such a span of diffrent values and cultures.

  85. Student Response #32

    I am responding to Student #5.

    I understand how taking a gap year can distract on the study part of our lives. Sometimes when I’m doing homework and take a “break”, the break stretches to a couple hours and I don’t want to resume homework again. After lots of hard and tedious studying, though, breaks are nice. I like how you said that a gap year can be a year of exploration and finding and understanding yourself. New experiences can open your eyes to new things, and you may change your mind about a career or find a new passion or goal. Europe is definitely a great and beautiful place to visit, and it’s full of new things, experiences, and people. Using a gap year to discover who you truly are and opening your eyes to new experiences is a very wise decision!

  86. Student Response #33

    I am responding to Student 5

    Who wouldn’t want to travel if they were given a year off to do anything they wanted? I definitely would if I got the chance. I completely agree with going to Europe. Europe’s always been in my head if I had the opportunity to go somewhere. Italy sure is a good place to go, but I would like to go to England, partly because of their soccer clubs. I can’t think of anything better than being able to go to England and watch a good game of English football. Also I never thought of what would happen after the gap year was over. It would be hard for some people to go back to their previous life. Even for me, I believe the transition back to reality would definitely be a hard one.

  87. Student Response #34

    I’m responding to Student #49.

    I think it is cool for which places you want to visit. I also think my gap year will be longer than a year although my main interest is not travel. I would probably travel some but it will not be my main focus. What first caught my attention was when I saw the word St. Patrick’s Day, which happens to be my birthday, at the bottom of the first paragraph. After reading some more, I saw Scotland second on your list. I am part Scottish but I do not know how much since it is a bit difficult to trace all the back to the French and Indian War, the time my dad’s part of the family came to America. By the way, doesn’t Macbeth take place in Scotland rather than Denmark? Perhaps you’re confused with Beowulf. Beowulf mostly takes place in Denmark when he helps the Danes by fighting Grendel and Grendel’s mother. Fighting the dragon takes place in his homeland in the southern tip of Sweden.

    As for the creatures living in South America, I think it would be cool to observe and all, but I think I will be content just observing them behind a cage. To my family’s surprise though, my aunt actually went on some kind of group camping trip in South America. When she made that announcement, she got the whole family wounded up. We were thinking “Why in the world did she randomly decide that she wants to go to some camping trip in South America? She is such a city girl and a clean freak. Does she not know what animals live there? There is no way she will survive. She is too small and skinny; an animal will probably take her and eat her.” Well, my aunt went and came back in one piece, thankfully, but she was considered the city girl in the group.

    I think New Zealand is a nice place to go. I actually have a couple of friends who wants to live there. I did not know the Lord of the Rings trilogy was filmed there but I bet it would be something great to see. I hope you eventually get to travel to these places.

  88. Student Response #35

    I’m responding to #5.

    I agree that it would be hard to get back in school mode. I think backpacking in Europe would be fun and be able to see like an ampitheatre where entertainment began. I love the idea of making a discovery where people would have been looking for years. So I would defintely go scuba diving or something fun like that. I’m glad I read yours because I would have never thought have going out of the country for a trip that could last for months the only thing I disagree with is not incouraging others to do this. I know people who need breaks to be able to keep going other than that I completely agree.

  89. Student Response #36

    I am responding to student #31

    I think that is the best way to spend a ‘gap year’. To have a ‘blast from the past’, in my opinion reconnecting with everything (people, places, things) is an extraordinary adventure. You could remember things that you never thought were even in your head and talk to people you haven’t thought of in years. If I had a year off I would definately take that same type of trip you would take. But unlike you, I have only lived in one house my entire life. So my trip would just be revisiting the places and people I met while traveling as a little girl. I really do hope that you would take this trip and get to recollect all your memories and enjoy them once more. I would love to hear about it, if you were to take this trip in the next 10 years. 🙂

  90. Student Response #37

    Responding to student number 12

    I kind of get the same feeling that I would never go back into the educational realm if I took an entire year off. I like the laid back life plan for your “gap year though”. One month of nothing sounds pretty good to me right now. After that work at a golf course, I also love golf and feel at home when I play golf. Well not necessarily at home as in I fit in but when you finally focus in and get contact and as you look up that little white ball is bouncing on the green, it gives you a satisfaction that no other sport offers. The satisfaction that YOU did it, not with anyones help or aid, with all the forces of nature working against you, YOU did it.

  91. Student Response #38

    I am responding to Student # 18

    I agree with you that if we were given a gap year, we must use our time wisely. I also agree with you that thinking about getting ready for college for the following year is important. I guess I am practical, too. Travelling for the sake of travelling would be a waste of time and money. Even doing community service for a short time may not be all that beneficial to you or to those you think you’re helping. In a book I read, the recipients of help complained of outsiders coming in as though they were the saviors and run just as quickly. They say that some come just to pity them, only to leave quickly in disgust. I am sure some help is better than none, but we should think about how much are we helping or hurting them.

    I agree with you that reflection of life so far, and looking ahead thoughtfully, will have impact on our lives. In that sense, travelling and experiencing different culture would be worthwhile.

  92. Student Response #39

    I’m responding to student # 2.

    I have a deep respect for anyone who loves animals and that’s something that does, in my mind, make someone a better person, due to the fact that they can appreciate and love creatures whether they are fluffy and soft or scaley. In short terms, you earned my respect.

    I really hope you get your chance to visit Africa, and count a giraffe’s spots, by the way let me know how that goes, and listen to the trumpets of the elephants. I bet that must be such a connected feeling when you see those animals on TV or on the internet, and then seeing them life is like meeting your favorite movie star. I really wish you can go on your Africa trip and see all those cutesy little creatures.

    Oh, and I really liked your style of writing, it is definitely easy to get and that’s something that is widely appreciated, by someone as slow was myself.

    Oh, and can you do me a favor? Could you please not end up like that person Mr. Meadow’s talked about once? The one that helped the baby elephant and then got killed by another elephant at the zoo? I’m just saying, because those elephants are sneaky!

  93. Student Response #40

    I am respndoing to student #33

    I like that you would love to help out somewhere if you were to take a break. You must really enjoy helping people. Its amazing that you would go all the way to Africa and help those in need. That would be nice to help the little kids with their education. I agree that it is terrible what their doing to the women and children in Africa. I hope you can make a difference. Good Luck!

  94. Student Response #41

    responding to student 6.

    Freaking do it!

    To follow a dream of any kind is the most fulfilling thing I could ever imagine doing in life. If it is your true passion I say you should take the chance and try it, New York or not, you should just try to see if anything hapens. If you were unsuccessful who cares? You would have loads of fun I’m sure and maybe something great could happen. The rewards of that chance are too great not to try and go for it. Your dreams are the most important thing in the world, why not go for something that could make you happier than any other meaningless job you might get after boring old college.

  95. Student Response #42

    I am responding to Student #24.

    I think that it is really awesome that you would spend your summers counseling disabled children. It really puts things into perspective when you see how much of a challenge it is to accomplish an everyday task without sight. It’s people like you that make it easier for people like them to live. Volunteering is such a rewarding thing to do. I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of iGo Global( I think that’s what it’s called). What they do is they take high school kids to third world countries to teach little kids for a summer. You get sponsors and then you go and get to help real underprivileged children. I don’t know if you would be interested, but I thought I’d throw it out there.

  96. Student Response #43

    I’m responding to Student #2…..

    I really like your plan to go to Africa. It’s interesting that you want to go see animals. But not only the fact that you want to travel to go see animals but you want to experience seeing them in person and not just search Google. Because seeing them in person is a totally different story, cause you can hear them too and see them. Not only hear them but smell their environment too. Experience what they experience so to say.

  97. Student Response #44

    I’m responding to student #48

    I think that traveling all around the world to watch soccer would be an exciting event. When I was young, the sport I loved the most was soccer and I had watched it all the time. The professional players are so enjoyable to watch and it is such a competative sport. My brother was an excellent soccer player and he inspired me to play. Lately I haven’t been playing much anymore but I hope to do it sometime soon. I’m sure getting back into the game would be a great experience. But soon I think I will travel somewhere just once to see a live soccer game. I’ve only watched it on television and went to see a live Dallas Burn game which was enjoyable.

  98. Student Resonse #45

    I am responding to student #2:

    I completely agree with this student. Looking things up on the Internet is nothing like the real thing. When I go to the zoo, I am overcome with sadness knowing these animals are in faux habitats, with cameras flashing at them all day. To me, seeing animals in the zoo is nothing like the real thing. You don’t get to really see what these animals behave like, you just see a clipped version of their lives. So I see zoos almost like looking things up on the internet. To go to Africa and observe these animals in their natural habitats would be amazing. That would be a wonderful experience, to just see these animals as they truly are. I really liked how this person tied in what they wanted to do in with their response. And when the way they called the animals in Africa as “higher class animals” I laughed but in some way agreed. They are truly animals, not entertainment for paying visitors.

  99. Student Response #46

    I am responding to student #10

    I definitely like the idea of going somewhere where everyone speaks English ^.^. It’s pretty hard to find a country on Earth that doesn’t interest me >_<, but England is certainly a country with alot of great history. As a fellow lover of history I would also love to visit the amazing museums, castles, and other various places of significance. I would especially like to see Stonehenge, Roman ruins, and the castles in Wales. Experiencing British musical heritage sounds great as well. Also, living in London, one of the great metropolises in the world would definately be really fun. And using the city as a ‘base’ to go see other parts of Europe sounds like an amazingly good idea.

  100. Student Response #47

    I am responding to student #4

    I really like your idea of backpacking. I think it would be great just to escape. I didn’t respond to this blog the first time around because I didn’t know what I would do. I hope you don’t mind if I steal your idea. I think going out in the wild would be fun, but I would not do it for a year strait. I might go for a week and then come home. Then I think it would be cool to do the same thing again, but in a different location. I think it would be kind of like Survivorman, but a litter more like camping because you pack supplies. That would be cool to go backpacking for a week all over the world for a year.

  101. Student Response #48

    Responding to student 9:

    I find it very intriguing that student 9 wants to travel to Taiwan and become a doctor with their father. This expands the medical fields in various cultures and would expand their knowledge. They could learn what they learned in Taiwan and apply their findings in the US. By traveling to other parts of the world, you learn about different diseases and people. This would be very practical in future medical fields. Going to Taiwan would be a very effective and creative way to expand future knowledge and become familiar with different types of studies.

  102. Student Response #49

    I am responding to studen #2

    I think its really cool how you want to travel out to Africa. It’s a really good place to be studying animals at, theres so many varieties and you could learn so much about them. Also you could experience the different culture over there, the people are alot different in a good way. When your here in america and you see the different animals its not like there wild, they are very tamed animals. Over there though they are just right out of nature and you can see there natural reactions to things. You made a good decision going there to see such animals. As a vetenarian you need to know alot about them, If you ever do go you should learn from the surrounding people, it will make you more experienced in the long run.

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