The following post was written by Global Gap Year Fellow Sarah Duncan. Sarah is spending the first half of her gap year in Seoul, South Korea.
“So you’re not going to school?”
“Are you sure you want to visit that country?”
“Why would you do that?”
…are just some of the responses I’ve received from too many people, if I’m going to be quite honest. What exactly would I be referring to, you may ask?
A gap year.
Odd concept, right?! Although Europe would disagree.
So yes, I will say it once more: I am taking a gap year! Saying this statement has not been difficult, although taking on the challenge is another story. Starting my gap year has been much easier said than done- and I say this because, well, I haven’t even begun my gap year! This is because I have been putting off an essential step to beginning my gap year, which is to write a pre-departure blog post. If I’m being honest with you, writing this has been quite the task. How am I to accurately recount every thought, feeling, experience, and emotion I’ve had thus far into one blog post? What do I even begin to write about? This is the dilemma I’ve found myself in for the past few weeks. In other words, I feel stuck.
Don’t get me wrong, having received this opportunity means the world to me (literally). Sarah one year ago would have been so proud of where I am today. Yet for some reason I just did not feel prepared for the next stage, and in some ways, I still don’t! Simply put, I am stuck in limbo- I’ve completed high school and await something new, but am still unclear of what will happen next. There is something about the uncertainty, however, that has further entertained my curiosity and is what ultimately made the concept of a gap year so thrilling. I came to the realization that I need to embrace the uncertainty while staring at my map wall decor, where the words, “Start Somewhere and See the World” are written in large font across the continent of Asia (where I’ll be starting my gap year, funnily enough). Despite the fears that lie behind the doubt, I recognized that I just need to start somewhere.
So here I am, starting off my gap year through the completion of this blog post. As I embark on this journey, a principle I want to live by (and that I hope you will as well) is that there is no right way to go about this year. After all, any action is better than no action!