The Gap Year Process

I recently updated my Linked-In Headline as “Feature Writer.” I am a college graduate, I have written one feature story for a magazine in the last month, but my headline is a lie.

The truth? I am in a gap.

Currently, I have no serious job title. I work as a secretary/receptionist at a law office part-time, but when people ask what I “do” I give them the runaround. The truth is I’m waiting to start graduate school, but until then I’m only working 24 hours out of the 168 we have in a week.

I’ve gone from working while being in school full time to just working—part-time. My pace of life has slowed down tremendously, and I’m happy about that, but at the same time, I’m scared.

Having too much free time is a bad thing. I know that, and I’ve witnessed that.

I don’t want to fall in a trap of complacency, of relearning my love of television, of viewing my days in college as the “best” or “most productive” days of my life. I do not want to be unprepared for graduate school because I forgot what it’s like to thrive on a heavy schedule.

If you’ve lived at all (or at least two decades) you realize that life ebbs and flows. Right now, my life is receding, sailing back into the sea from the busiest four years of my life. I have to remind myself that this gap is not my life, that I will find a way to fill my time with productive (and hopefully profitable) activities and that a new season is building in this time of relaxation.

Now is the time to decide how I will fill my time; now is the time I can actually be intentional with what I want to do with my life, I don’t have to be at the whim of class times or long hours.

I’m writing this because I am fascinated with processes…and how people learn. Now that I think of it, it makes sense that I want to pursue a career in education: I love seeing how events produce outcomes—how lessons instill knowledge.

Even though I am in a gap, that does not mean I am no longer a student. I will keep learning, about myself, about others, about how to be a responsible person, and I will report on that, and hopefully, you can learn from that, too.

This is the first step in the gap year process:  welcome aboard.

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