Why I’m Giving Myself a Gap Year
“Are you actually going to go back to school?”
“If you take a break, you won’t go back.”
“You’re just going to waste a year of your life.”
“It’s just going to make you start your career later.”
Ahhh, I have heard all of these, and some more. I am currently finishing up my psychology undergraduate degree, and was planning on going straight into graduate school for school psychology. Around the time I should’ve been taking the GRE, I started questioning whether I really wanted to go into school psychology. That’s a really specific degree, so if I get my masters in that, that’ll be my set career. Shortly after, the idea of human resources started creeping into my mind. Well, that’s an entirely different career path. Then I’d go to business graduate school. Can I even do that with a bachelors in psychology? How am I planning to pay for graduate school anyway? Where do I want to do it? I think I want to move…right? And what if I want to go back to Africa, or to a new country for a few months? If I’m in graduate school, I won’t have the money for that.. Oh! I could be a nurse! That chaos that is my mind, is why I am taking a gap year before graduate school. I have absolutely no idea which direction I want to take for my career, I have no money saved up, and I do want to travel for a couple months next year. So, against all advice, I didn’t take the GRE and I didn’t apply for graduate school. But where does that leave me? What does that make me?
Most of my friends are graduating in May, and are starting to line up jobs. They’re starting student teaching, accepting jobs across the country, and planning budgets for their new salaries. I’m happy for them, but it also makes me feel like a slacker. They’re doing what you’re supposed to do, what I was supposed to do. Go to college, finish in four years, then get a good job and start real life. I’m going to graduate college and move back home with my parents- isn’t that what everyone jokes about? Well, that’ll be me. I got a college degree to go back to being a waitress? Everyone said psychology was a worthless degree…should I have listened? I still have a few months to figure it all out, but knowing myself, I’ll probably be in the same direction-less place by that time. It feels like everyone is mapping out their careers and their lives and I am sitting on the couch watching (and writing about it). I have essentially no plans. I could be anywhere next year. How scary… What a loser.
an Excited Loser
So yeah, I will be moving out of my house with my roommates and back in with mom and pops come summer. But you know what? I’m pumped. Why?
- I will not be paying rent/ I will be free to move without breaking a lease.
- My parents can cook for me. (I’ll cook for you guys too…. 🙂 )
- I will get to live with Hollydog.
- I can spend more time blogging.
- My parents are cool and this is going to be fun.
The thing about my gap year is that I can make it whatever I want it to be. I can save up a ton for grad school or I can spend a ton traveling the world. I’ll be able to job shadow to try to narrow down what I want my career to be. I could even pick up and move to Colorado if I want. Maybe I can cross some things off my bucket list. I’m only 21.. isn’t this what your twenties are for?! I don’t want to follow a perfect life outline. I’m giving myself a gap year to explore, to learn, and to do whatever feels right.
I think if I’ve learned anything this semester, (I learned other stuff, too, mom and dad!!) it’s that there is no “right way” to do life. I’ve always had these notions in my head of what life is supposed to look like, but lately, it’s gotten fuzzy. News flash to me: you don’t HAVE to go to college. You don’t HAVE to start your career at 22. You don’t HAVE to be married by 25. You don’t HAVE to do anything. *brain blast* I’ve learned that everyone’s life looks a little different. Never in a million years did I think I’d be moving home after graduating college, but I also never would’ve thought I’d go to Africa twice before even graduating college. Life is unpredictable and exciting and I can’t wait to see where it takes me.
“It feels good to be lost in the right direction.”
Have any of you taken a gap year? Any advice for me?