I know I have been absent the last two weeks, the truth is I have been preparing myself for one of the biggest adventures I’ve ever had! This weekend I am moving to Germany. Originally being from Venezuela and having lived in the U.S for a couple years, Germany is pretty far away and definitely a scary step! The reason why I am going is that due to circumstances of life I cannot longer study in the U.S, and my best choice after that was going to Germany because as a German citizen (don’t be fooled by my dark hair and dark eyes) I get many benefits when studying. There is one single bump that I still need to figure out though, I need to learn how to speak German. Yikes, I know.
This is why I want to write this article. This article goes to all college students (or even high-school students, or newly grads) who want to take a gap year but aren’t sure if they should do it. Once I was like you too. I had a plan in my head a goal I wanted to reach and a very specific schedule as to how I was going to achieve that goal. Go to college, study, get a job, boom. However, life happened and my plan got turned upside down. My calendar was all over the place and I didn’t know what to do! In the end I decided with my family that studying in Germany was the answer. I remember telling my mom, “Mom, I don’t even speak the language! Are you crazy?” and she said, “So what? You take a year and you study the language.” At first I thought she was kidding. Losing a year? Getting behind in my studies?! What about my Economics degree?!?!?!
It took me months to realize that taking the gap year was actually a good decision for me. I would get to travel all around Europe, I would add a language to my vocabulary, and I would learn how to live in a completely different environment with a completely new culture. I would grow as a person in my gap year and meet people who were in my position and make new friends! I realized that it didn’t matter if I started my third year of Uni in 2016 or 2017 because later in life that wouldn’t matter. If you are worried about employers let me tell you that knowing different languages and having had abroad experience puts you above any newly graduate of your class, so don’t worry about it.
So it doesn’t matter if you want to take some time to learn a language, travel, do volunteering, or even to work… just do it! You will have many doubts, I won’t lie, and questions regarding whether it is the right decision or not. If the idea popped in your head is because you are interested in it and we all know that we lose all of the chances we don’t take! Be adventurous! Take your year! Or even just a semester! Remember that once you settle on a job you won’t get this precious time. While you are young and able you have the world at your feet. Meet new people, speak new words, and learn new things. I will tell you how my gap year goes, because it is just starting!
Wish me luck people,