What if you could graduate high school, and you and your friends could travel the world with purpose? Would you consider it? Does it sound too far-fetched? Deep down doesn't it sound exciting⏤taking a year "off" and discovering everything God has for you before your next big decision?
Well you can, and for many it's been the best decision they ever made. I've talked with a whole bunch of students wanting to take a Gap Year and interviewed a few who already did it.
Here is what you need to consider before taking the leap:
1. A Gap Year is not for everyone, but it is for a whole bunch of people.
One huge reason people don't take a Gap Year is fear. You may feel like you'll disappoint your parents if you don't go straight to college, or you will feel all alone because you're doing something different from the norm. What about scholarships? Yeah, I've heard this too. FOMO is real too.
The first thing to realize about a Gap Year is that it's definitely not for everyone. There's tons of reasons why going straight to work, enrolling in traditional college, or learning a trade is important. If God has cleared the way before you and you know the next steps He has for you, move forward with confidence. You can trust the One who called you. No fear!
However, not everyone has that peace. So, if you are wrestling with what's next, if you are burnt out on traditional education, if you've never traveled outside the U.S. or even outside your own state, if you want to establish deep friendships to last a life time, if you really want to see first hand what is happening in the nations, understand God's work in the world, and activate your faith, then you, my friend, should be thinking seriously about a Gap Year!
2. You can earn college credit while taking a Gap Year.
Attending college is a big part of our lives. Discovering why you should go to college is a really good idea. It's expensive, so make it count. A Gap Year with YWAM Tyler allows you earn college credit through our Discipleship Training School (DTS.) It's a great start to the next level of education you may desire.
We have formed several partnerships with different colleges and universities who are excited to offer you college credit for making a difference in the world. Seriously, who knew you could live in community, get serious about your spiritual life, travel the world on an adventure, and use this time to prepare for college? Neither did I!
3. It's totally ok to not know what you are going to do with the rest of your life.
Maybe you are already experiencing the dreaded, "So, what are you doing after high school?" Have you had to swallow and say something you actually aren't %100 sure about? Take a deep breath. It's okay to say, "I"m still praying about my next step and I'm confident that when it's time to make a decision, I'll know what to do." God sees you. He cares about the journey you are on. You can trust Him.
While you are waiting on God, you can live full-on getting to know God more intimately. At Youth With A Mission, we are firm believers that when you draw close to God, He'll draw close to you and show you exactly what He has prepared for you. This discovery takes time. Trust the process.
4. Understanding yourself, your identity, your passion is part of the journey.
Do you ever find it hard to just get quiet and turn down the noise in your life and just listen? I mean really listen. Part of the process of taking time off from formal education is to breathe.
It's okay to step back, do something totally different, carving out space and time to listen to God and your own heart about your future. You don't have to rush into your career. You have time. There's some experiences you can really only get by taking the time to discover. As you experience serving around the world, your perspective will grow. You'll see yourself from God's perspective. And how He sees you isn't how the world sees you. You are not a commodity. You are a child of God.
5. It doesn't matter when you spend your Gap Year.
Here's a quick story of a friend of mine who was so thankful he took a Gap Year after college.
After graduating from NC State University, my friend decided to do something crazy and take a Gap Year. You know, that guy who's quiet yet brilliant, and you just know he's going to be world changer. Yeah. This was him. But for him he was unsatisfied with just doing the next thing because it's expected. After much thought and prayer he jumped into YWAM.
Many would think what a waste of a good college education. But for my friend college was not preparing him for a normal career. For the past fours years, he's led teams all across Asia, discovering new things about people and God's creation. He's got friends all across the globe now and met his wife who also shares his same passions.
You can do a Gap Year. We make it so easy. So why not? What's stopping you?
We specialize in Gap Year. Not everybody does. After literally thousands of young people have taken a Gap Year with us, one comment connects them all ... It was worth it!