Finding ways to fill ‘gaps’

Ellie Sedgwick, Staff Writer

Most students have a very clear idea of what they are going to do after high school. They might go to their parents’ old school, or go to one that specifies in the job they want the most.

But for senior Naomi Mather, she has a different idea.

“I am taking a gap year, because I honestly have no idea what I would even study if I went to school next fall,” Mather said. “I feel like I am personally not ready to go to college. I want to go when I am serious about pursuing a career, not just because it is expected for me to go or to get away from my parents.”

With her friends and family’s help, Mather thought about the idea of leaving the country for a year before making her decision. She plans on going to travel to England and China, working different jobs and learning about both foreign culture and her own.

“I am really excited to actually live in England where I was born and my mom grew up,” Mather said. “I think I am going to learn a lot about my family and my background while I am there.”

During the summer, Mather will be in Guernsey which is part of the English Channel Islands in the United Kingdom. She will be working a small job and getting her qualifications to teach English.

“After that I’ll be heading to Hong Kong to live and work for 6 months with my aunt, who owns a preschool there,” Mather said.

Originally Mather felt panicked about going to college—luckily with the help of some supportive family and friends, they helped her figure out that taking a gap year would be the best thing for her.

“I think I’ll gain a lot from taking gap year,” Mather said. “I’m going to get to have life experience in a foreign country. Hopefully I’ll pick up some Chinese, I’ve already started to learn a little— but it is so hard.”

While she is in Hong Kong, Mather shall be applying to schools in England, hoping to go to school there so she can be near to her family.

“I did not really have a plan besides go and stay with my grandparents in England and work,” Mather said. “So I gave up with that thought, but as I was applying to schools this year I realized I just couldn’t go next year.”

Mather said her friends are happy with her choice, even though some people did find it strange.

“A lot of my friends think it is great that I am taking a gap year, and are really excited for me,” Mather said. “There are some people, though, that do not know me that well who think it is a joke or they get all awkward with the fact that I am not going to university next year.  Just because I am not going to school right away does not mean I am a disgrace, plenty of kids do it.”