‘Gapper’ Recommends Year-Long Break


Refentse Maselwa, Staff Writer Commentary

A gap year, also known as a sabbatical year, is typically a year-long break before or after college/university during which students engage in various educational and developmental activities, such as travel or some type of regular work.

Many people consider taking a Gap Year, because let’s be honest, 12 years of schooling is a lot to ask of someone. If you think about it, the only real concern about taking a gap year is falling behind.

And is that really a concern?

Many of the greatest and most successful people have taken a little break and came back refreshed and ready to take over the world. Not to name drop but…

Steve Jobs–the co-founder, chief executive and chairman of Apple dropped out of college to spend a year in India. He went home and revolutionized the world of technology with the invention of the Mac. Elon Musk spent more than a year travelling around Canada before he started College. Malia Obama took a gap year in 2017 before she started at Harvard, and that is just to name a few.

Personally, I would recommend a gap year, but during this period you need to do something, whether that is working at different jobs or traveling, and there are many great organizations that specialize in helping you do something with your free time.

I took a seven-month break, because I graduated in December, and I had to wait for the fall. During the first month, I stayed home, and for the first two weeks it felt great to wake up at any time. I got really close to my two-year old sister because this was the time before she started going to Kindergarten. But doing absolutely nothing started getting to me. I started feeling the effects of not stimulating my brain. For three weeks I could not for the life of me remember how to spell the word ‘touch’.

Honestly, let me tell you that getting a job and earning my own money to do things that I wanted to do has really showed me who I am without the influence of my parents or school.

In this time, I have felt the responsibility of taking care of myself and occasionally my family. I have felt alone, overwhelmed, overstimulated, and defeated. I have also felt independent, happy, proud of myself for what I have accomplished, and I met probably one of my best friends, while working.

Essentially, taking a gap year is the chance for you to do any and everything. A year of self-discovery and exploring the wonderful places that world has to offer.