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Want a Break From the Classroom? Take a Gap Year!

by Story2 Guest Author, on Dec 2, 2015 10:10:39 PM


Learning isn't one size fits all! Each person learns in different ways, bringing those unique learnings and experiences into life. School is no exception. For many students, hitting the pause button before or even during college to explore a gap year creates a wealth of new experiences. Whether that means starting their own business or traveling the world, students complete their gap years feeling refreshed and ready to return to school.

One student, Michael K., was feeling unfulfilled in college, but taking time off to participate in the UnCollege Gap Year Program expanded his perspective and left him excited to learn in school again:

Michael's Story

I joined Gap Year after giving college a fair shot. I never hated school, which is why I thought I should go straight to college, but that's a mistake I'm willing to admit. Before moving in freshman year, I had growing entrepreneurial ambitions, and sometime in my sophomore year, I hit a point where I felt my academic studies weren’t going to be any help to me in bringing any potential venture to fruition. I wanted experience. I wanted perspective. I wanted the opportunity to succeed or fail in a meaningful way—more meaningful, at least, than an official transcript.

And at UnCollege Gap Year, I got that opportunity. I started a business and realized through that enriching experience that it was much more difficult than I had ever imagined. I went to Southeast Asia, alone, and explored with no agenda for 2 months. I landed an internship at a startup accelerator with the help of my Gap Year coaches, and learned more about the day-to-day challenges of starting a new business than I ever could have in business school. Gap Year forced me to put myself in uncomfortable situations, situations where I had to engage, had to learn, and had to grow.

When the year was over, I found myself uncharacteristically excited to go back to school. With a little real-world perspective under my belt, I decided to return to school to finish my degree. Why not? I thought.

Gap Year left me more curious and more engaged than I had been 9 months before, with a newfound appreciation for a college education, and what it could be. I did a lot of growing up, no doubt about it. I can’t say I’d be where I am now had I not taken the time to put school on hold and make exploration a priority for a little while. Everyone should make time for a gap year.

-Michael K.

Learn more about how you can explore UnCollege opportunities like Michael’s here.

Topics:college admission