Welcome to our blog series titled “Great Gap Year Myths”. Our alumni are taking over as guest bloggers on this site to share with you their favorite myths about doing a gap year. Here is Meghan Beans, from the inaugural class of 2011, with her perspective on Myth #2: “I’ll Fall Behind My Peers”.
I am going to start this blog post with some honesty like Blair did in the last blog post.
Making the choice to take a gap year was one of the most terrifying and risky decision I’ve ever made. When I signed up for KIVU Gap Year I was going to be part of the first graduating class. At the time, gap years were just beginning to gain momentum in the US. There was some research done on them, but not nearly to the extent that has been done on them now. Basically I was going into uncharted territory. I had to trust KIVU, myself, and most importantly, God.
Obviously doing something new like this came with a lot of fears and concerns, and like any teenager, I was SO concerned with what everyone else in my class was going to do in the next chapter of their lives. All my friends were going to college. They were finding out what dorms they were going to live in. They were meeting their future roommates and slowly moving out and I started to feel left behind. The concerns and fears began to pile up… what was going to happen when I came back from gap year? What would happen when I went back to school? Would colleges or employers be concerned that I was a year behind my peers? Would my peers think less of me because I was choosing a different journey?
The answers to all the questions were answered within the first few weeks of starting gap year and became more apparent as time went on.
I started listening to God and let Him lead me on his plan. My fears of falling behind began to disappear. I was meeting people from all walks of life all over the world and learning their stories. Each person I met had a story where I was able to learn that everyone has their own unique timeline. I was starting to realize that most people, especially your peers, are going to be supportive and they don’t care if you are behind or ahead or even at the same pace as them.
When I got home from gap year, went back to school and started working everything I learned while I was on gap year was justified. My “peers” in my classes were, again, from all walks of life. They weren’t ahead or behind, they were doing things at their own pace, and no one made any fuss about it.
One of the biggest things I learned and what is so cool about gap years, college, and life in general is we are all trying to accomplish the same thing. We are all trying to achieve our goals and dreams and live out God’s plan.
So I guess to sum up a lot of chatter to “bust” this myth, you don’t fall behind your peers. Everyone has their own path and each person will take life at their own speed.
Facebook: Meghan Mackenzie Beans
DID YOU KNOW?
Students are taking up to 6 years to complete their undergraduate degree*
Gap Year graduates have a median time to graduation of 3.75 years**
**American Gap Association, National Alumni Survey, 2015