My Choice to Take a Gap Year

by | Dec 3, 2020 | Featured, Gap Year, Independent Living, Internships, Student Blog

Howdy! I suppose an introduction is in order if you are going to be reading this.  My name is Aliya Larkin and I am a Dynamy intern. I am currently working at an internship with the Worcester Business Journal which is a local newspaper.  

I’ll just get right into why I am here and why I chose Dynamy instead of another gap year program. Since my sophomore year in highschool I had been considering taking a year before college to work on myself. School was never my strong suit no matter how much I enjoyed learning. I constantly heard the phrase “if you just applied yourself” among other sayings that were vaguely supportive with a hint of concern. The classroom setting was difficult for me to learn in and I would have trouble connecting with the information that I was being taught. I began to consider a gap year when I was about 15 and went to my first college fair. I had been begrudgingly dragged there by my father who just wanted me to start thinking about college. Dynamy had a booth at the fair and was one of the only gap year programs there. I saw several different colleges that night but the unique nature of Dynamy had stuck in my mind. 

About a year later when it came time to really think about college I went to a gap year fair. School had continued to be a struggle for me and it was becoming clearer that the traditional college route may not be in my favor. It was here I was reintroduced to Dynamy. Many gap year programs pushed the idea of travel or a study abroad year before college. For me I knew I needed an environment where I could pull myself together and grow as a person before four more years of school. Dynamy promised that kind of environment with independent living and the ability to be an intern at places that could actually provide a hands on learning experience rather than classroom studies. So when I started applying to colleges I kept Dynamy in the back of my mind, still not wanting to admit that college wasn’t quite yet what I should be doing. When the pandemic struck and virtual school became the norm I finally accepted what I had known for three years. Learning in a classroom was difficult for me and I needed something more immersive to learn in a constructive way. I needed to experience life rather than spend my next year in a bedroom and sometimes the kitchen. I deferred my acceptance to Lesley University and hoped that my application to Dynamy would be accepted. I knew it was a risky move but I thought that even working a year and taking college classes part time would be better than a fully virtual experience if I wasn’t accepted into Dynamy. 

Luckily I was accepted or I wouldn’t be writing this right now though I suppose that’s rather obvious. In an ironic twist of fate my internship ended up being entirely virtual. I still feel that I am learning far more than I would if I had gone to college this year since I can actually leave my room. My experiences in the time I have been here have already been tremendously educational. I learned pretty quickly that eating the same food for dinner every night seems like a good idea until you realize that now you hate broccoli. Or that people don’t appreciate it when you buy a Misfits poster for your room and don’t inform them that there is now a skeleton poster in a shared bedroom which you think is pretty cool but others could live without.  As for my internship I have already learned so much as a writer. I have gotten to experience journalism personally and have already had the ability to do things I never thought I would do like interviews or writing up pieces on topics I hadn’t really given much thought to before. It has been an experience that I am considerably grateful for. I feel so lucky for finding this program and not confining myself to the traditional learning experience that didn’t work for me.  

I do not know what the future holds. It is a strange thing that we can only hope to predict unless we are comfortable with the murky unknown or perhaps too weary from the world to care. What I do know is that my time here has already taught me so many things that I will carry with me past my stay. What I know now is that I am less scared of the future. I have already learned so much more about myself and life. Dynamy was an unknown for me and I know that I am ready for the next unknown I step foot into.

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