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Gap Year Experiences, New and Old

By: Leslie

By Sara

As I’m sure all of us can attest to, this year has been one of uncertainty. I certainly have had to grow accustomed to not knowing what the next days will bring, which has been a difficult shift from the certainty of a school schedule. However, I have realized that uncertainty can bring opportunities that would have been far from possible with a strict schedule. Over the past month or so, I have been able to pick up long-forgotten hobbies and start volunteering at an animal sanctuary I had always wanted to visit, but never had the chance to. This month has brought a lot of new developments for me, and I’m excited to share these experiences with you.

For the past few months, I’ve been working in retail, and recently decided to cut back on my hours to focus on some of the other things I had hoped to work on this year. For example, I had studied classical piano for nine years before putting it down in freshman year to focus on school and theatre. With more free time on my plate, I have been able to start taking lessons again, and the joy I have felt over the last few weeks from practicing has been indescribable. I’ve also been able to start taking guitar lessons and continue with my voice studies, which had been put on hold due to the pandemic. It has been interesting to see the measures the studio is taking to keep students and teachers safe, and I can definitively say that singing with a mask on is a very new experience for all of us!

  I also started volunteering at Cotton Branch Farm Sanctuary, a rescue for farm animals about twenty minutes from my house. They have a variety of animals, from roosters to pigs to mules, and they all come from different backgrounds. Some of them have special needs and require care that they can provide, some are rescues from hoarding or abuse situations, and some are livestock rescues. They need volunteers to socialize their adoptable pigs and take care of different housekeeping tasks, such as scooping poop and filling water troughs. If you’re ever in the midlands of SC, come by and check them out!

My last exciting news for this month is that I have finalized my plans for the spring, and I cannot wait to get started on this new adventure. Come the end of February, I’ll be headed up to New Hampshire for a program called Gap at Glen Brook. The program lasts 11 weeks, and is focused on personal development and responsibility, sustainability, and nature. I’m a little nervous about the weather, since I’ve only seen snow a couple of times in my life, but I know it will be a new and exciting experience.

I’m looking forward to continuing on this path and starting a new experience come spring. There will be more updates to come from me, so stay tuned! I look forward to sharing these new experiences with you.