When I was planning my gap year, I thought I had it mapped out perfectly and knew exactly how it would relate to my career path. After talking with Mr. Oliver, doing more research, and being honest with myself, I completely changed the direction of my gap year and I am so grateful I did.
Be completely honest with your true interests and how you would like to spend your time. Participating in a gap year is meant to experiment with possible careers and become more self aware. Initially, I thought I wanted a career in law, but I realized I would not feel fulfilled studying that material or practicing law. I was convinced I couldn’t study exercise science because it felt “too easy”. Firstly, physiology is not an “easy” field of study, so dismantling my own misconceptions about different career paths was important. Take time to find out what you might do for the rest of your life if money was not a factor.
I had to be extremely flexible and change my plans quickly. I had to make lesson plans and manage a class of 30 students from first through fifth grade while a teacher was out. Even though I have no formal experience teaching in a classroom, I used the classroom management skills the program coordinator taught me, and made it through her absence. Doing activities outside of my comfort zone scared me, but it inspired a lot of confidence in me, as well. Taking opportunities as they come has led to the success in my gap year.
I am eternally grateful for this year to slow down, gain confidence and experience, while growing personally. My gap year has been an amazing experience and I have created relationships and gained knowledge that will help me during my time at FSU and beyond.