Students don’t mind the gap

Students don't mind the gap

Amina Abdul-Kareem, Staff Writer

Senior year consists of juggling college applications, schoolwork, GPA stress, and sleep deprivation. Before jumping into hectic college life, some students have decided to recharge with a gap year, a year students take off before enrolling in college.

Mike Moritz ’14, whose older brother influenced him to take a gap year, decided that after his college process, he was going to focus on baseball, traveling, and work.

“I’m taking a gap year basically because I can. I know that doing the stuff I want to do after college is way harder. I don’t have a responsibility to go right to school,” Moritz said. “We’ve been in school for 13 years straight; I think a break is in order.”

Moritz promised his parents he would attend Ithaca College in 2015.

Some students did not originally plan on a gap year, but ended up deferring admission for a year. Staples alumnus Andi Goodman ’09 took a year off after she found out the college she wanted to go to was overenrolled. The school offered better financial packages as incentives for people to take a gap year.

She worked full time at Barnes & Noble for a year and saved money,  instead.

“It did get kind of boring and monotonous, but that was also educational, because now I know that I definitely never want to work in retail again,” Goodman said. “And I can recognize how important it is to have a job that you’re really interested in and passionate about, so that going to work day after day is less of a chore.”

Internationally, gap years are very popular. Staples alumnus Aidan Orly ’11 was encouraged to take one by his father’s experience in Israel, where students often take gap years.

“When else would I have the opportunity to take so much time off, with so few other commitments, to do almost anything I wanted?” Orly said.

Orly’s day-to-day life was extremely variable. He did everything from picking watermelons in Australia, to meeting his cousin for lunch in Singapore, to attending a family wedding in Peru.

“There was no such thing as a normal day,” Orly said.

Elaine Schwartz, director of guidance, thinks the year after high school is the right time for students to take an academic break, do something meaningful and prepare themselves for their college experience.

“The tradition has always been graduating high school and going to college, but I think now the mindset is that if a student feels they want to experience something different or take advantage of a great opportunity, this a great time in their lives to do that,” Schwartz said.

Liv Kelly ’14 decided on a gap year and signed a modeling contract.

“I don’t know what I want to do with my life…A pro is that [this is] not costing me $50,000 a year for something I’m not sure about,” Kelly said.

Like many students who take gap years, Kelly does not have a set itinerary. At one point she’ll be commuting to Manhattan to meet with her agent and going to casting calls to get bookings.

“I don’t see why I would feel any different at graduation than anyone else. I went through high school just like everybody else and worked to get there; just because I’m not going to college right away doesn’t make me any less worthy or successful than my peers,” Kelly said.