“I feel like I just want to sell all the stuff I own, move to Seattle and just work at Starbucks. Take a year off and figure out what I really want to do in life.” – Jill during our weekly class-was-short-lets-go-to-Sonic trip.
Jill is one of the few members of our graduating class besides me that is not concerned about getting a job. While I have also thought about this route (mmm coffee and benefits), my reasoning behind “taking a year off” is slightly different. Because of my strong commitment and belief in service I hope I will be serving through the Americorps program.
For others in my class I feel a sense of desperation sneaking up on them. With only a month left of school people are trying to balance homework and making plans for life after May. Of course there is probably also a lot of praying for jobs to come through.
Unlike citizens of the UK, we Americans are not terribly fond of the gap year idea. High school is preparation for college which is preparation for the work force which IS life. There is little wiggle room in the system, since attending college generally prevents one from taking a year off due to financial reasons (loans). However, many idealistic graduates like myself will ignore the job market temporarily to complete a Year of Service.
Personally money is not the driving force in my life, so I am happy to ignore the pressure “to get a real job.” I might not be working on my career quite yet, but I think the next year will be a good growth experience that will allow me to use my time and energy to improve others lives, not just my own.
If you are thinking about taking time off from school or work (the rat race), consider a service based program. There are few opportunities to consider:
There are many more opportunities. Just ask Google. :)