Seniors explore the benefits of a gap year


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As graduation approaches, the contradistinction of different options are contemplated.

With the start of the second semester, seniors are bombarded with an overwhelming amount of “what’s next.” However annoying it may be, the time for decisions is ticking as high school comes to an end.

Traditionally, students are expected to enroll in universities for the fall, but this conventional path is being questioned more and more, with an array of other possibilities. Those who question this status-quo may decide to take a ‘gap year’ after graduation.

Traveling is one of the many options that allow students to gain worldly perspective, real life experiences and self-discovery that they wouldn’t have otherwise gained.

“I wanted to pursue my dream of playing professional soccer for a youth team in Colombia, which I didn’t have time for in school. Taking a gap year is a way to mature, travel and learn about what I enjoy doing. Since I’m living by myself here, it’s an opportunity to mature and be more independent from my parents. Playing Team 0 is rough, but it’s really worth it at the end of the day since I’ve matured so much from the little time I’ve been here,” senior Martin Forero said.

A common criticism of the educational system is that high school seniors are too young to properly commit to a decision that will have such a significant impact on their future, such as the college and career path they follow. That is why there is an increasing popularity in the choice to take a gap year.

Another path taken is that of working for more hands-on experience, which can be as educational as any lecture.

Senior Matterson Lerch will take this year to explore what he truly wants before making such a significant decision.

I’ll continue to work at Bubbles hair salon, explore different job opportunities, use the time to go to the gym and produce more of music.

— Matterson Lurch

Lerch’s dedication to his job and hobbies will allow him to be better prepared for when he joins Montgomery College after his gap year and eventually college after two years.

“I definitely feel like I need more time exploring. The success rates of men attending secondary schooling actually become much higher after they take a gap year, so I thought I may as well take my time, explore, figure out what I want to do. I have German citizenship, so I was planning on visiting some family and some roadtrips in the US to explore the Midwest and the South,” senior Carl Braun said.