Saturday, November 10, 2012

The "Gap" Year

     At one point I had this entire post written out in my head. It was witty, profound, had incredible, vintage-esque pictures in it and might have made you cry. (Or not.) Since I didn't write it down, you get to read this instead.
     My name is Jessica. If you read my blog, you probably already know that. I graduated highschool last spring and since then have been taking what the people around me call a "gap" year and what I just call "a year off from school".
     Disclaimer #1: I am not taking a gap year because I don't know what I want to do with my life. That is a great reason to take a gap year, but it is not the only reason to take a year off before you go to college and incur thousands of dollars of debt. When someone tells you they took a gap year, ask them why, don't assume that it's because they have no idea what they want to do in the future. They'll appreciate the question even if they don't know what they want to do.

     I decided to take a year off at the suggestion of my violin teacher. Deciding to wait a year to go to college is honestly one of the hardest decisions I have ever had to make. Because I want to major in violin performance, I have to audition at every school I apply to. This means hours and hours and hours of practicing: time I didn't have senior year. Thus a year off.
    Side note: I was homeschooled my entire life, so the fact that I didn't have time my senior year is due in part to the fact that I tend to overcommit myself just a little. As a result, senior year I was not only doing school work, but also playing two instruments, participating in an orchestra, teaching private music lessons four days a week, attending and serving in my youth group and with my church's worship team, and serving as the chapel worship coordinator at the homeschool co-op that I still teach at. Hence not being able to practice the three to six hours a day my violin teacher is always talking about. (So if you meet a homeschooler that is in high school, they're probably busier than you are. Most of my friends were homeschooled and still are homeschooled and manage to juggle way more activites than public schoolers. Which is not always a healthy/good thing, but looks great on a transcript. Right?)
     So what does taking a year off include? Filling out college applications, practicing Bach and Bruch and Kreutzer till my hands hurt and I have to take a break, teaching 25+ piano and violin students, leading a Jr. High small group at my church, baking delicious food, spending time with God, and (this is the most obvious one...) blogging.

But, as my good friend would say, "Enough about me. What about you?"

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