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Mid-Year Thoughts

By: Leslie

By Hannah

As I approach the midway point of my gap year, I can say that this year has been nothing like I expected. This is definitely a good thing since I spent a lot of time preparing myself for things to fall through and for this year to feel like nothing more than a way to pass the time before college.

I am happy to say that none of that is the case. While plans did fall through and continue to change, this year so far has been rewarding to say the least. I thought I would take this time to check-in and compile a list of some of the things this year has made me grateful for.

Twenty things I’m grateful for…

  • That my family is healthy and has been able to work through these tough times.
  • That I had the opportunity to take a gap year.
  • That I’ve gotten so much extra quality time with my family this year.
  • My dogs.
  • All the people that hosted me and my 10 peers in Hawaii, Oregon, and California.
  • New friends and memories.
  • The instructors on my trip who put up with said 11 teenagers for two months.
  • Zoom and Facetime for keeping me connected to my extended family.
  • My grandparents.
  • The extra time to improve my cooking (see below for some of my recent favorites)
  • Driving around and looking at holiday decorations.
  • Good coffee.
  • Sunrises and sunsets.
  • The time I spend with friends, even 6 ft apart.
  • Being able to vote this year.
  • All the beautiful nature that’s so close to home.
  • All the adventures to come this year.
  • Being able to look forward to the next four years at Duke.


While this list is far from exhaustive, it captures what I’ve been thinking about lately. Even though I don’t know exactly what the next few months hold for me (I think I’m on iteration 6 of a plan at this point), I know that by the end of the year this list will only grow. I can’t wait to see how this year unfolds!