While most seniors are beginning to find out what colleges they have been accepted into and becoming anxious, Tatyana Castro won’t be experiencing that added stress.
Unlike the popular trend, Castro is choosing to take a gap year before college. This means that instead of packing up her suitcases and duffle bags for her new life in a dorm room, she’ll be packing up for her non-academic adventures abroad.
“I decided to take a gap year because I realized I really wanted to travel before I settled down at school,” said Castro.
Though once a more common practice than it is today, increasing academic pressures to continue education further and faster have lowered the inclination of taking a gap year.
“I think people don’t take gap years anymore because a lot of people are really eager to get the college experience as soon as they can,” said Castro
Senior Sydney Levine does not plan on taking a gap year for similar reasons. “I personally didn’t choose to take a year off, because I feel like I need to continue going to school while I am still in the student mindset,” said Levine.
As of now, Castro plans on traveling to South Korea, Thailand, Hong Kong, El Salvador, Bolivia, Chile, and Argentina.
“I’m really eager to see different cultures and meet new people that I otherwise would not have the opportunity to experience,” said Castro.
Though her friends may not be taking gap years, they still remain supportive and excited about her decision.
“I think it is a really good time to travel and experience new things before going back to school. She’ll be more than ready to take on college whilst having gained extensive knowledge about the places she’s visiting,” said senior Isabella Sziraczky.
“I think her decision to take a year off from college was very unique, considering most people don’t do that. It will give her a chance to gain independence and explore new cultures, become a lot more mature living on her own in a foreign country, and come back with a different mindset,” said Levine.
Although she has been busy planning her future travels, Castro has also planned her future once her gap year comes to an end.
“After my gap year I plan on attending Foothill College and starting the X-ray technology program there,” said Castro.
While it may not be a popular choice for seniors, Castro is thankful for her support and privilege in traveling.