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The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

Gap semester after high school helped me get life back together

The Channels Opinion Pages | STAFF COLUMN
Emma Welch is enjoying her time at sunset with friends. In La Jolla Calif. June 2020, courtesy of Teagan Alstrin.

Finding a plan after high school was one of the most confusing and terrifying things I had to do as a teenager. 

During the spring semester of my senior year, I was completely lost in what I wanted to do with my future. I had gotten into many universities, had job opportunities, but something was telling me to take a break.

When my friends and peers started committing to colleges and making other life changing decisions, I couldn’t even think about what I wanted to do because everything was moving so fast. 

When I was about to commit to a university, my heart was telling me something wasn’t right. I spoke with my family and friends and came to a decision of taking a gap semester.

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I was in a vulnerable state after high school ended; having to deal with COVID-19, moving out of my house, and almost failing senior year. Taking a break from school is what I needed to get my life back on track. 

During my gap year, I worked in a Thai restaurant, was a nanny for two beautiful girls, assistant to the director and choreographer dance captain, and performed in a musical. All of these jobs made me mature and build my character to a potential that I didn’t know was possible. 

Even though taking some time off from school was what I needed at that point in my life, it was difficult for me to watch all of my friends progress through their college experience while I was making the active choice to stay behind. When I saw all of their posts on social media, it made me feel envious of the adventures they were having. Although I was not in the same place as them, I was still able to have my own experiences by taking this time off.

While not being enrolled in school I had a lot more time on my hands. I used that time to get to know and love myself. I journaled frequently to talk about my day or my feelings and that sparked my interest in journalism. 

Although getting over my initial thought of “you’re a loser because you aren’t going to college,” was difficult, it shaped me into a stronger, more independent, and hardworking woman.

I will always stand by my decision of taking that time off because it led me to City College and this is where I was always destined to be. 

I encourage freshly graduated high school students to consider this decision as well because taking a gap semester has been the best choice of my life.

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