My Unconventional Gap Year Experience

by | Apr 6, 2020 | Featured, Gap Year, Student Blog

I suspected time at Dynamy would be cut short about a month ago. I knew that no matter how confident the people around us were, that we were in for a major shake-up. Incidentally, that shake up came during our already scheduled spring break. A year’s worth of things happened in the span of a week. A national emergency was declared, a pandemic was in force, colleges and public schools shut down indefinitely. Then states ordered stay at home advisories, and the term that’s become lay of the land was birthed- “social distancing”. Now we’re told it’ll be getting worse before it gets better.

Dynamy isn’t a college, so I figured things would need to intensify a bit more in order for the program to keep us home. Each day I expected the call. And though it didn’t come, I knew it would. Even 48 hours before the end of our spring break we received an email saying that unless we got a subsequent email saying otherwise, we’d be going back that Sunday. I still knew we wouldn’t be back. And less than a day before the scheduled return, I got a text from my friend who works for the state. It read, “You didn’t hear this from me, but Baker is going to declare a state of emergency tomorrow”. And on Monday morning, that’s what happened. The email finally came, telling us we won’t be returning to Dynamy at the moment. We’re told they will reevaluate on April 7th. But the truth is, this won’t be anywhere close to done by April 7th. So Dynamy, and every college, is shut down indefinitely. Even if there were fewer than 10 kids in the program to comply to the CDC’s rules, Dynamy internships would undoubtedly be closed and sustained through telework. Outings couldn’t happen. It would seem the program, given it’s very epitome, couldn’t exist.

I was under the assumption that I’d get a phone call when the time was right and would be able to come back then. But that’s not what happened. I’ve been held accountable from home. Low and behold, the integral goals of the program can still be practiced from home. That is if you’re creative and collaborative enough. Tasks are still being assigned, advising is happening over FaceTime, and check-ins are regular. Let’s face it; unless you have COVID-19, there’s no reason to pause the development of hard work, accountability, and adulting. Unlike online school, Dynamy has done a terrific job in maintaining the very interpersonal relationships that sustain both the learning curve and its respective accountability. I expect to be even more impressed as the weeks progress.

When I was originally tasked with a student blog post, I didn’t think this is what it would look like. But here we are. Even though things look very different, it stills faintly feels like business as usual.

There’s no great way to end this, so I’ll say this: Stay safe, wash your hands, and practice social distancing. You and me share responsibility in this. Though I don’t expect for massive amounts of people to be reading this, seriously- please be cognizant. Listen to what authorities are telling you. And as soon as everyone can put the collective need ahead of their own, the sooner we can start to think about transitioning to the normal world. So please, listen to what the professionals are saying. Wash your hands. Practice social distancing. Then keep doing it. Be mindful and protect those around you. Group activities can wait. 

Thanks for reading! -Sarah

To learn more about Dynamy and why it is one of the best gap year programs in the United States, contact them today!

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