Thursday, October 8, 2015

The Gap Year!

So for those who don't know or simply didn't figure it out, I took a Gap Year. It may be seen as "lazy" in America, but low and behold I am a raging Xenophile and don't care about American standards.

So what exactly is a "Gap Year"? It's exactly what it sounds like: it's when you take the year after you graduate and don't go to school. Yup, I am currently not enrolled in any classes and don't plan to be until the next fall term. And it was my choice, my parents have come to peace with the fact that I am a high school graduate who will soon enough be moving off to another country. at least I hope they've come to peace with it, otherwise this is going to be quite a shock...

It's not that I don't want to do anything with my life, as I've said in my existential crisis blurb, I am an overly ambitious young adult. I just needed time away from the education system to figure things out, and this is what I have so far:
I want to work for a news station, if not abroad then at least on the West Coast (I don't hate the East coast, but I've just been over here too long and want to see something other than the familiar). This means that I have decided on a major: journalism. I've always loved writing and apparently have a talent for it according to my parents who are always happy to read whatever I write (thanks parents!), and I'm always happy to share the latest news, be it Korean, English, American, or otherwise.

So what's the point of a Gap Year? Well, people who's parents don't make 30 million dollars every year tend to lack the funds for a college tuition, which can run up into the millions depending on student loans, what college you're going to, housing, and supplies like books, which can be costly if you buy new, but why would you? Anyways, a Gap Year is usually when a high school graduate does things like work or travel. My gap year was spent more leisurely, as the most travelling I did was to the kitchen for food. I know, that makes me sound like the laziest laze to ever lazy, but...okay, story time:

I am an introvert. Not an agoraphobic, but an introvert. Don't get me wrong, I love being social and hanging out with friends and family and I absolutely love it when family comes in for a visit, but I tend to go into this anxiety-filled blur of crying and pain-filled yelps when I'm around too many people for too long, or if I feel like my safe haven (i.e. my bedroom) has been compromised. For example, a member of my family just recently died and my grandmother, two aunts, one of whom has a one year-old daughter, and my sister and her son were in for the funeral. My two aunts and baby cousin slept in my brother's room, and my grandmother, sister and nephew slept in my room. That put me and my brother out in the living room. Now, we have a very nice living room with a comfortable couch and love seat, but after about three days, I began to feel out of place, jumpy, and even sometimes I felt very agitated. This is because I'm an introvert. Whenever I feel like just unwinding with a good book or recharging with some mindless browsing on the internet, I like to go to my room and whenever I'm in there my family knows to knock, otherwise it's not a pretty scene.
Low and behold, I had three people staying in my room. No matter how many times I went in there, it did not feel like a safe haven, it did not feel like my quiet-zone, it didn't even feel like my room. So I had to wait an entire week before I had my room back. It was a week filled with sleepless nights, headaches, and crying in the corner of the bathroom floor. Needless to say, not my happiest moment. Not my darkest moment, but not my happiest either.

Introvert and all that aside, a Gap Year is basically just the year after high school when you work for college money, intern for marks on the college application, or travel the country/globe and do a little bit of soul searching. Mine was spent soul searching in my room because I lack funds to travel (for now anyways...)

So the moral is this:
Don't feel obligated to go to college straight out of high school. No matter what anyone tells you, no one can make you do anything-you are your own person who is free to live their own life and be as happy as you want. If you don't want to go to college, then that's fine too! If you want to join the Army, then I salute you for your bravery and sacrifice! If you want to work at Walmart, then you shoot for that manager position! Your life is yours to control.

Stay sweet everyone!

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