Gap Year Description:
I divided my gap year into three different sections: community service, travel and work. In the fall, I coached the JV Volleyball team at my high school. I had played as a varsity athlete for four years so I was very familiar with the program. Coaching was a challenging experience, but it was also very rewarding. I have never been prouder than when my girls won our last game. While coaching volleyball, I was also organizing a charity golf outing to help raise money for a local family in need.
Then I jetted off to Tamarindo, Costa Rica where I took Spanish lessons in the morning and surfing lessons in the afternoon. Because it was low season in October and November, I was privately tutored in Spanish for four hours everyday! I hope to make it back to Tamarindo one day! Pura Vida!
When I returned to the States, I worked as a hostess in a restaurant for three months. I also read a ton of books, and I watched the ENTIRE series of Friends. In late March, I headed off to Europe for three weeks. I took a month long Art History entirely in Spanish in Salamanca, Spain. I traveled around the UK, and I was in London for the Royal Wedding! I also did a week long painting trip in Southern Spain with all these middle-aged women from the UK. It was a blast!
Everyone should take a gap year. It was the best year of my life!
How it influenced your time at Middlebury:
I was so burnt out from high school that it was so nice to take some time from academics. I felt excited and ready to begin classes again, and I immediately got involved in student organizations on campus like WRMC and MCAB. Because of my involvement, I immediately felt really connected to the Middlebury community. Within a few weeks--much to the dismay of my parents--I started Middlebury "home". Because I had pushed myself so much during my time off, I felt more comfortable branching out and trying new things while on campus.