Colleges are now encouraging graduating high-school students to take a gap year before they enter university. Students may find it challenging to center in on a specific major and tend to vacillate; often switching several times before choosing a career path.
Joe O’shea from Inside Higher Ed said this: “[Students]...should think about taking a gap year, to defer college for a year to live and volunteer in a developing country. In the traditional sort of gap year, students immerse themselves in a developing community to volunteer with a nonprofit organization by teaching, working with local youth, or assuming some other community role. Gap years have been rising in popularity in the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, and elsewhere. I’ve spent the last few years researching what happens to young people when they have such an immersive experience in a community radically different from their own.The answer, in short, is that gap years can help change students in ways the world needs.The challenges of our time demand an educational system that can help young people to become citizens of the world. We need our students to be smart, critical and innovative thinkers but also people of character who use their talents to help others. Gap years help young adults understand themselves, their relationships, and the world around them, which deepens capacities and perspectives crucial for effective citizenship. They help students become better thinkers and scholars, filled with passion, purpose, and perspective.” (Read more here)
Through Go International’s Submerge program we are helping young people discover their passions and focus themselves towards their goals. Unlike other volunteer programs; Submerge combines both practical teaching and volunteerism giving students the opportunity to both serve and learn. Each day the Submerge team plays a direct role in the service efforts of Go International.
Kristen Tideman from University of Pittsburgh decided to take a semester off of school to join the Submerge Program. She said about her decision, “ I decided to take a semester off when I realized that some of the best opportunities seem like the crazies ones; it doesn't seem logical to take a break with only one semester left to go before graduating, but I had been questioning for a long time as to why I was even in college in the first place. I had undoubtedly succumbed to the idea that college was the only logical option after high school. I became frustrated when after two years I still didn't have a solid idea of what to do, maybe even less of an idea than I had in high school when the possibilities are all open. With the opportunity to step away from these societal pressures and the rat-race, if you will, I can see that many "successful" people have risen to places of influence by unconventional means. I can see that the accepted path of: college, and then work, and then **boom** ; happiness isn't realistic. Life doesn't happen according to a manual. Perhaps it is even in the risk-taking that we learn the lessons we've been hoping to encounter the whole time.”
If you have been struggling with choosing your career path, consider taking a semester to join Submerge and awaken your creative heart and soul. You can read more about Submerge by clicking here.