"More certain of my priorities, and of how I want to live life." ~ JIYOUNG J.

I learned to ask myself why I hold the values that I do, and why I want to pursue certain lifestyles. At school, I didn't really have the chance to ask myself why I choose to do the things that I do, but during my time off, having complete control over what I could do for the first time, I became a lot more aware of my values and how I want to incorporate them into my life. 

"Ready for school!!" ~ MINJI C.  

After senior year, everyone has a hard time going from knowing most people at school to knowing nearly no one in college. You just feel lost... During your gap year, you're not in a tight social community, and that encourages you to be a lot more independent. A gap year helps you transition into college.

"I definitely matured as a person, and I find that college is going to be so much easier after having been so far from home." ~ CLARA S. 

Do it. I’m thinking about what my first year in college would have been like if I hadn’t taken a gap year—and I just think it was a really great idea to take a year off to grow more into myself before throwing myself into a new school. 

"Much more mature, and I feel ready to jump back into school full force." ~ OLIVIA

Taking a gap year allows for a break of sorts from the academic grind. If you feel frazzled from high school, taking a "mental health" year is a great idea, and honestly it's great even if you're not frazzled. Take the time to learn about yourself and others. It will only enrich your college and post-college life.

"A lot more ready to go to college. A lot more rejuvenated."
~ SAM B. 

I’m very, very glad that I took a gap year so I can have a different perspective on how the world works and what makes people happy. I know now that there are many different ways to feel fulfilled and to make the world a better place.

"More centered, more ready for college, more aware of what I wanted out of college." ~ EMILY

"Like I had a clear sense of what I wanted to do with my life and the steps to achieve it." ~ HANNA

"Prepared and happy." ~ ANONYMOUS

"Refreshed and ready to start school!" ~ DEMRE

Do it for sure! It was the best year of my life, I learned so much and grew in ways I won't ever be able to grow in college. I have seen and done more than a lot of my peers and I will never be this free to travel as I please again. It was the best decision ever.

"Fulfilled, in touch with myself, and excited to take on more of life's adventures." ~ CAILA

"More mature, [and like I have] better perspective." ~ CODY

"Prepared for school, energized, excited for school, and wiser." ~ JESSICA G. 

"Brave and competent." ~ STERLING D. 

I also learned how to not feel awkward, because I felt so awkward speaking Spanish, that I will never feel that awkward speaking in English to anybody ever again.

"Rejuvenated, excited for life, motivated, globally aware, self aware, and new." 

"Ready to go back to school, and I had more of an idea of what exactly I would like to study." ~ ANONYMOUS

"I had a clear sense of what I wanted to do with my life and the steps to achieve it." ~ HANNAH

"Experienced." ~ NETHANIEL O. 

"I am mentally prepared to respect the institution and get the most out of it." ~ PIPER

"Not afraid of unexpected things." ~ GLENDA

"I had a much better understanding of how the world worked and how I could fit into it, a little more disillusioned, too :P" ~KATRIONA

"More prepared for the world outside of school." ~ ELLY T. 

"Glad not to be married to an educational track, empowered to make my own friends outside of institutions and programmed stuff." ~ MARIA M. 

"Hungrier and refreshed and more 'into it,' schoolwise and lifewise." ~ SAMUEL B. 

"Emotionally prepared to return to education." ~ SETH M. 

"Way more experienced and mature." ~ CAMI K. 

"So much more comfortable with myself and the world and very ready for college!" ~ SOPHIE E. 

"More independent, more mature, more ready and excited for school!"

"Refreshed and ready to go back to school with a clearer idea of what I wanted my education to be." ~ RACHEL 

"Stronger, smarter, more aware, braver, happier. " ~ REIN

"More grown up." ~ ANONYMOUS

I was really into the party/hookup scene before I left and a part of the reason I took time off was because things were taking a turn south with that. Now that I've found something I'm really interested in I know I owe it to myself to not get so fucked up that I end up passed out on the pavement. 

"Both refreshed and excited; it was the best decision I'd ever made."

"I had gained an identity other than 'student.'"

"Like the master of myself and my time." ~ ANONYMOUS 

"MUCH more prepared for college. Went through a lot. But also realize how, arguable, easier in a sense college is - in terms of making friends, having structure, everything laid out for you." ~ RAVI E-M. 

"That it was a great choice." ~ SAMI

"It was the best decision of my entire life." ~ ANNA G. 

"Much more certain about my career and academic goals, but returning to campus definitely brought social anxiety. While the time off helped me hone my academic skills, I hit the reset button on my campus social life." ~ ANONYMOUS

"Excited to meet new people and be in a new place. I also feel excited to get back in a classroom and start working again which is something I could not have said coming out of high school." ~NINA R.