My Gap Year Experience & How it Transformed Me

by | Jul 9, 2020 | Alumni, Featured, Gap Year, Independent Living, Internships

Hey! My name is Paul. I’m a 2019 Dynamy Internship Year graduate. During my time at Dynamy, I was able to learn and develop new skills alongside different ways of thinking that I continue to use a year later. In this post, I’ll give you a brief tour of my experiences in the program and how it has prepared me for where I am today!

Confidence and trying something new

When I first came to Dynamy, I wouldn’t have classified myself as a confident person. I had found a few things that I knew I was good at so I “stuck to my guns” and stayed inside my comfort zone, while not venturing outside of my zone in fear of not being good enough. When we got back from the adventure challenge and the time came down to choosing the internships we would interview at, I was anxious. There were so many options that sounded interesting but I had never thought that I would have the prowess to excel in them. I didn’t want to go to an internship only to learn that I was in over my head and wouldn’t be able to help out effectively. I was nervous but I was at Dynamy for a reason. I knew that if I didn’t try in the first place, then I would never know at all. While looking through the internships I came across one that was at a hydroponic farm. Though I didn’t know anything about hydroponics, I had worked on an organic farm in the past and did in fact know something about plants! This sliver of similarity allowed me to push some of my insecurities down and take a leap.  

The process of interviewing made me take a look at what qualities I had in me that I thought that the company would find appealing. Doing this allowed me to see my positive qualities and that gave me confidence. I ended up being accepted as an intern and was able to work for the hydroponic company! It felt good to be doing something new and fresh, I realized that I wanted to make even more leaps in the future. I felt that each leap that I would take would only make me more confident in my abilities. So when my first internship was coming to an end and I had to make the decision whether to stay at the current internship or try something new in the next semester, I made up my mind, I was to make another leap. This time I wanted to cut all ties with familiarity, I wanted to try something in which I knew almost nothing about. I ended up getting an internship at a biopharmaceutical lab.

For my final internship, I once again decided to try something new. This time at an IT/Web design company called Comportz. Here I met Andrew, my sponsor. He helped me learn about website creation and what I would be doing at the company. As the weeks went on I enjoyed being able to work on real-world projects that I felt like I had a say in. Being able to create a website that would be used directly for a client made me feel more responsible for my work and I wanted to give it my all. 

As my year at Dynamy wrapped up and the last internship was completed I had gained more of a sense of confidence in myself. I knew that even if I knew nothing about something, with enough perseverance I could learn to do anything. I had also learned that the process of trying something new in and of itself was fun and exciting. The idea that just by trying something different could open up entire avenues you would never have thought of doing, or could do! Like a branching tree, one skill could lead to countless others.

Where I am today and a connection

Of course, the real test begins after Dynamy. Would I continue to put what I had learned to use after my gap year? Well… since I’m writing this you should already know the answer is yes! A few months after getting home I saw an ad on Facebook for a company called “concrete poetry” that was hiring for an assistant who would help out in the creation of concrete countertops. Did I know anything about concrete countertops? Not at all. Was I going to drive to the studio that day with my resume in hand and ask for a job? You betcha. A few days later I was called up and told that I could come the next day to start working. It was a new experience that I was only able to obtain by being confident and wanting to try something new. 

After several months of working at Concrete Poetry, I received a call from my old Sponsor Andrew from Comportz. He explained to me that he had started his own website developing/marketing company called “141 Creative” and he would be appreciative if I could work for him part-time doing web design. I gratefully accepted his offer and once again continued on my “path of firsts”. 

So that’s where I am today. I’m excited about the future, ambitious, and ready to try new things. I will refuse to settle into stagnant comfortability. All this because I decided to try something different for a change. So if you want to get off the beaten path a little, maybe Dynamy is the option for you.

Please reach out to our admissions staff to learn more about Dynamy and gap year programs to see if it might be a good fit for you!

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