“Wait, so you’re going to be a first-year when everyone your age is in second year?”
Questions like this surrounded me in the final months of high school. Out of 120 students in my graduating class, I was one of two students who decided to take a gap year. The idea of a gap year was off most people’s radars, seeming distant and somewhat fantastical. The overwhelming mentality around gap years was that a gap year was something a student would consider, but never actually pursue. This is because of the common stereotypes surrounding the academic break.
When the average student thinks of a gap year, their minds usually land on two possible scenarios.The first one is working a banal job to earn money for school or to figure out their academic goals, spending days scrolling through Instagram todirectly live through their peers’ university experiences. The second envision’s partying on a yacht, maybe in Fiji or Greece, drinking one’s own body weight in alcohol, and sharing the journey on social media.
The gap year I embarked on was far from either of these plots, and taught me a lot about how to approach the rest of my academic career. It proves gap years can enhance your learning rather than simply taking you away from school.My gap year was a year on, not a year off. For nine months, I studied in and explored Jerusalem, learning about Middle Eastern history, language, and politics while exploring the same themes in different regions across Europe, Asia, and Africa.
While travelling the world, I immersed myself in different cultures and religions. I was fueled by new foods and surrounded by new perspectives. I learned two new languages. I also obtained 30 units of academic credit. The experience heavily influenced who I am as a person and learner. My curiosity and sense of perspective—both necessary skills to excel at school and life—are expanded and continue to expand.
High school didn’t leave me sufficiently prepared to face the academic challenges of university, whereas my gap year shaped me into a person ready to face many challenges. After all, you can’t feel a textbook’s emotion, or debate statements of fact with a slideshow.Throughout my gap year, our teachers pushed us to understand that human encounters are what teach us best about ourselves and each other. Once you see and feel a different perspective rather than reading about it, you become immediately invested in that viewpoint. It becomes a new lens for you to use in your interactions with people and ideas. With this new mindset, you become curious and hungry for more information.
If you’re given the opportunity to travel, take advantage of it. A trip to a different part of the world might seem drab to you, but you’ll meet new people, see fresh vistas, and expand your worldview. A year studying while exploring is incredible. If the opportunity arises, snatch it.
Question 1 (2 points) Indicate whether the following statements are true or false and write down which part of the text justifies your answer.
a) According to most people, a gap year is something every student must take before starting university.
b) According to the author of the article, a gap year makes you improve your academic knowledge.
c) The author had the opportunity to learn about a new culture.
d) Her teachers made her understand the importance of face to face communication to get to know each other better
Question 2 (2 points) Answer the following questions in your own words.
a) Why does the author say that her gap year was something different?
b) What does the writer think about high schools?
Question 3 (1.5 points) Find words or phrases in the text that correspond in meaning to the words and definitions given.
a) Seek (paragraph 1)
b) Framework (paragraph 2)
c) Strengthen (paragraph 3)
d) Interest (paragraph 4)
e) Outlook (paragraph 5)
a)FALSE :“The overwhelming mentality around gap years was that a gap year was something a student would consider, but never actually pursue.”
b)TRUE: “taught me a lot about how to approach the rest of my academic career. It proves gap years can enhance your learning rather than simply taking you away from school”
c)FALSE: “I immersed myself in different cultures and religions”
d)TRUE: “our teachers pushed us to understand that human encounters are what teach us best about ourselves and each other”
a) She affirms that because there are two different ideas of what a gap year means. One is related to the fact that you have to get a plain job to earn some money to pay your studies and the other deals with the idea of luxurious travels around the world and sharing them through social networks. The author’s gap year was completely different, she learnt about politics, religion and about herself.
b) She thinks that high schools don’t make sure that students are ready for university. Textbooks and slide projections can’t teach enough, especially when dealing with emotions, opinions and different perspectives.