A Year of Discovery

Unveiling the Transformative Power of a Gap Year

As I reflect upon my journey as a young adult exploring various career options, it brings me immense joy to provide an update on my progress for Meridian Lifestyle. A year ago, I penned an article titled "Charting His Path," recounting my Boise internship on Today, I present this follow-up piece, aiming to inspire students and parents alike with my experiences.

After completing a fulfilling year as an intern at Legacy Wealth Management in Boise, I returned to my hometown of Lake Oswego, Oregon. It was time for a change, and I enrolled at Portland Community College with a new focus in mind. Departing from the realm of finance, I eagerly immersed myself in a rich array of political science and theater classes. These disciplines captured my interest, and I am now officially pursuing a double major in both fields.

This marked a significant departure from my studies during my gap year at the internship. While I thoroughly enjoyed the work I undertook, I realized that dedicating the next four years of my college education to finance or business was not aligned with my true aspirations. The decision to take that year off, to gain real-world experience, has proven invaluable. Without it, I would have been halfway through college, likely majoring in a subject that did not ignite my passion. I am grateful to have avoided the financial and emotional burdens that would have come with such a misalignment. That gap year allowed me to gain perspective and insight into my own desires.

Like many of my peers, as high school drew to a close, I found myself exhausted and disenchanted with the education system. I had grown weary, both mentally and emotionally, and the prospect of continuing in academia held little appeal. In truth, I harbored some resentment toward school. However, today I can confidently declare that my perspective has shifted. The year away from formal education bestowed upon me a newfound appreciation and respect for the academic environment. It also revealed to me the invaluable educational and social rewards that college offers. I am delighted to report that I have excelled in my classes, overcoming the disinterest that had plagued me in high school. This year, I have earned a place on both the dean's and president's lists, and I am proud to have been inducted into the Phi Theta Kappa National Honors Society. Additionally, I have actively participated in student government, taken part in several student plays, and even had the opportunity to star in two short student films. It is an honor and privilege to be a student who genuinely enjoys the educational experience. For this transformation, I credit the perspective and insight gained during my gap year.

Having completed a full year at community college, I have substantially improved my grade point average compared to my high school years. Armed with this progress, I have applied to one of the nation's top universities, where I plan to embark on my studies this fall. With anticipation, I look forward to walking across the graduation stage in the spring of 2026.

Once again, I feel compelled to share a glimpse of my journey, hopeful that it will inspire others. To those approaching the end of high school, feeling burdened by untapped potential and uncertain about the future, I offer this advice: do not fear the pursuit of something different. Embrace the opportunity to take a gap year, explore employment options, engage in internships, or even travel. You deserve a break, a chance to reset and rediscover your passions.

To all those embarking on their own personal journeys, I extend my heartfelt wishes for success and fulfillment. May your paths be illuminated with the transformative power of self-discovery, and may you find the courage to pursue your dreams.

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