Miranda Seixas '20

 

Hometown: Newbury Park, CA

Major: Undeclared

Gap Year Description

I began my gap year by thru-hiking the John Muir Trail the summer after graduation. I then joined the Theater Experience of Southern California and performed as Peter Pan for two months. While still living at home, I also took six months to get my private pilots license. My last six months I backpacked alone through Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Spain, Portugal, Australia, and New Zealand, staying in youth hostels and host houses. During that time, I also volunteered in Romania with United Planet in a community comprised of an orphanage and a home for women escaping domestic violence. In Portugal, I helped build a house with Habitat for Humanity, and through Bold Earth in Australia, I participated in field research with a scientist studying the effects of climate change on the fauna in the rainforests of Queensland. My last month of travel was spent in New Zealand, camping every night and backpacking three of the Great Walks.

How did it influence your time at Middlebury?

I took a gap year because I needed to get off the track for a bit, to do things that I had never had the time to do before, and to think about my future past just getting into a "good" college. I read books and articles, toured museums, wrote some songs, and learned to enjoy my own company and be comfortable in my own skin. I gained experiences that pushed my comfort zone, opened my eyes to the diversity of the world, and exposed me to some harsh realities. I returned, especially from six months of traveling alone, with life skills that could never have been learned in a classroom and strong connections with people from around the world. I was able to start college with a newfound passion and appreciation for life, excitement for learning with a global perspective, and much more confidence and independence than I would have had going straight from high school. If you are thinking about a gap year, now is the time! I would love to chat if you have any questions!

 

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