Students take gap year

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Following high school, the recent graduate Alyssa Greene decided to take a gap year to ensure her financial stability and find out what her true passion was.
“For kids who don’t know what they want to do, (a gap year is a good idea). If you’re thinking about doing a trade or in a really bad financial situation, students should take a gap year,” Greene said.
Greene began her gap year working numerous jobs such as babysitting, getting paid minimum wage in the hope of gaining financial stability before heading to college. She had absolutely no idea what she had wanted to do at that point and was hesitant to go to college.
She found while babysitting that she likes to take care of people. This made her come to the realization that possibly getting certified as a nurse was the course of action for her. Applying for transcripts from her alma mater and tracking down all of the information necessary was a strenuous process, but she was then accepted into National Saint Louis University.
Greene had to move back in with her parents in Grayslake to prevent a long daily commute to National Louis University in Chicago. Taking the train every other day and working diligently to maintain her grades and working part-time to buy everyday things was a challenge.
“I learned you have to be really committed, otherwise it doesn’t work,” Greene said.
After months of trying to balance her busy life cycle, she decided it was best to try and get certified closer to home at the College of Lake County, a mere 20 minutes away compared to an hour train ride. This lifted an immense weight off her shoulders, but a few months in an unexpected happened and again she had to take some time off of school. It was then that she realized her hobby of doing others’ makeup was actually her passion. She now studies at a trade school for Mario Tricoci where she learns an array of skills from special effects to dermatology.
For students taking a gap year, they could save a substantial amount of money to place toward the costs of college tuition and eventually, if they wanted, the student could transfer out to different colleges once they get the feel of a college education.
During a gap year, getting a part-time job and taking part in volunteering or gaining experience in a field of interest could all help when entering back to college.
Although a gap year can seem like the correct choice, it’s not always easy.
“Once you take a gap year, it’s difficult to get back to education,” said counselor Megan Stenberg.
“I decided to take a gap year knowing it would be difficult for me to get back into school. I’m taking that chance because I want to be able to experience working full-time before going into college. It will help me with being able to mature and know what it’s like in a working environment, even if this means I may not go to college after my gap year. It all just depends on what I do throughout my gap year,” said senior Cole Johnson.
When applying to colleges, it is important to inform the college of the reasons for the gap year.
“Typically you have to write in the college application what you have been doing the last couple of years,” Stenberg said.
This means it is vital, when applying, to ensure that there is experience to write down. She states that people who have worked, traveled abroad, and done anything is not “frowned upon” by admission counselors.

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