Small But Significant

By Sofia

If you’ve explored any number of posts on this blog, you’ll quickly realize that a gap year is time to dream big: travel the world, learn a new language, get an awesome internship, and try things you never imagined you would do.

But what can go unspoken, is the satisfaction from doing the little things. Those things you always told yourself you would do when you had extra time. Those things you never got around to doing in the shuffle and chaos of school, college applications, extracurriculars, and daily life.

Mine, in particular, was reading. Yes, I read a lot in high school, but I rarely read *just for fun*. My childhood habit of reading entire books in a night was gone. By the time I finished everything I needed to do in a day, I’d be longing to climb into bed, incapable of reading more than a few pages before being swept to sleep.

Since I finished my Outward Bound trip, I’ve been reading at least a book per week—a pace that would have been unfathomable a year ago. I’ve devoured 7 book series, hoards of nonfiction, and lately, I’ve been delving into some classics.

About a year ago, I was given a ton of vintage books by my grandpa. Think William Shakespeare, Jane Austen, Emily Bronte type classics. The kind of books that require more interpretation and deciphering than your average modern bestseller, at least for those of us who balk at the formality of 1700s English. The yellowed pages, creased spines, and worn covers made the books all that more attractive, drawing me in. What better way to read some of the most recognized literary works than in true vintage form? But I put them off, waiting out literary burnout from years of forced reading in English classes.

My point is that among the other interesting things I’ve accomplished this year, I’ve had time in my gap year to check some of these off my to-do list. I’m getting the chance to read masterpieces that my classes didn’t cover, and to genuinely enjoy them, instead of working my way through out of sheer obligation.