Taking a gap year after high school could either be the best or the worst decision you could make. In my case, I would say it was probably the defying moment of my life, alongside the decision to not apply to college, but we’ll come to that later. However, before we jump into the story, if you are currently in high school or college, get some help with the assignment; there you will find all the help you need when it comes to assignments and paper writing.
So, let’s begin.
It all started with me not knowing where to apply once I graduate from high school. I was constantly worried that I wouldn’t get admitted, despite being one of the top students in my class. Moreover, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to be, career-wise, like the majority of teens don’t. I did have some interests, but nothing seemed to be the one thing I want to spend the next five years studying and later pursuing as my career. So, being overwhelmed with all the pressure coming from my teachers, parents, friends, and even myself, I decided to take a year off.
There was no particular plan regarding what I wanted to do with my year off, and everything in my life became a set of random situations, once I graduated. I have spent a lot of time listening to my friends talking about college and getting all excited about leaving to other, bigger cities. To them, college meant freedom, probably, to live a life away from strict parents, freedom to party all night long and to drink. None of them was thinking about their actual academic future. But that was none of my business. I have once more made a big decision; the decision to travel. What a shock.
Paris was the city I decided to visit. I wasn’t sure about going to Paris, especially with the rise of terrorist attacks and overall political uncertainty in Europe, but, the plane ticket was in my hand, and I was ready to go. I have spent several months in Paris, and, to be honest, that is when I knew that I wouldn’t be applying to college at all. You may be wondering why. Here’s the reason: I have discovered my love for art.
Many of you reading will keep on wondering why I didn’t apply to the Academy of Arts, or something like that, once I got home. Well, my love for art wasn’t technical, in terms of knowing all the artists, painting techniques or art history. It was more platonic and eye-opening in terms of the importance of art and the artistic philosophy behind everything we do, say or think. However, I did start painting at some point nonetheless.
In Paris, I have spent all my time visiting famous museums, like the Pompidou Center, Musée de l'Orangerie and Louvre, of course. I have also spent a lot of time at Place du Tertre, which is a gathering place for artists around the world for more than a hundred years. At Montmartre, I have fallen in love with the authentic experience of the former French lifestyle which is always bustling with artists, art-lovers, charming noises, and the dulcet tone of the street artists playing their instruments. It was a life-changing experience for me, as I have never before felt such freedom of mind and soul.
Once I returned home from my trip to Paris, I just couldn’t brush off the feeling and the impact of my new experience. According to GoAbroad once you come back home after a gap year, you should stay inspired and get started with some creative work, which is what I did. As soon as I stepped into my house, I felt the urge to start painting. I used the blank canvas as a way to express all the feelings, insecurities, uncertainties and wistfulness I was dealing with. The battle of me against myself in regards to my future was reaching its peak, four months after I have returned home. It was time to inform my parents about the final decision.
My plan was to start working as a painter. No school, no studying, no debt. I wanted to be free to paint and not get overwhelmed with the books and technicalities I would experience in college. Many say that after enrolling in college they were passionate about, they would stop feeling the same way after years of forceful studying. And I didn’t want that to happen to me. Luckily, my parents were very reasonable about the whole thing; they understood the debt issue and agreed that I should pursue what I am passionate about.
And that is it; the reason I never got into college. I am well aware that not everyone is as lucky as I was. I did have the ability and the freedom to make such a decision, and could actually afford to take a year off to travel, but I don’t think the outcome would have been different if I hadn’t had the stars perfectly aligned. Even though I was a great student, I have always known that college is not for me. And, if some of you are reading this article feel the same way, then you should listen to your heart. According to StartUpCamp, there are many brilliant reasons to not go to college, like self-improvement and self-teaching, or not having $60, 000 of debt, but your heart will tell you what you really need to do.
Either way, before making such a big decision, make sure to consult with your teachers and talk to your parents. It is nice to be spontaneous and random in your year off, but keep in mind some important things; like the possibility of getting a job, acquiring experience on your own and developing skills independently. Also, make sure to not consider college as a ‘prison’; it is definitely useful and helps you achieve exceptional success. So, just because a random person on the Internet had an awesome story to tell, doesn’t mean you should be following her steps, but rather, you should be pursuing your own dreams.
In case you are wondering what happened to my painting business; I still do it, but not professionally anymore. I am a writer now.
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