Taking A Gap Year

Before I graduated from high school this year, I decided that I wouldn't go to college right away. Like many other students, I wanted to take a gap year first. In Germany, this is a very common thing to do. Here in the United States, many people have asked me about my plans and showed their approval when I told them about my personal gap year. Their interest is the reason why I'm writing this article.

Why did I make this decision? First, I'm very young for my grade and I didn't want to start college at 17 years old. It's much easier to organize an apartment when you're an adult, as most would agree. In Germany, most students have to arrange their own housing, unlike here in the United States. I'm fairly sure that I will study journalism and before starting with that and taking the risk of regretting it later I wanted to take some time for myself first. I want to feel confident that this is the right thing for me to do. Taking some time to figure out what else I'm interested in and to gain some experience seems like the right thing to do. Moreover I love the idea of living abroad for a while. That's why I am here today and I've learned so much in the past three months. Although the German and American cultures are similar in some aspects, there are also many differences. Almost every day I discover something new and get to know more about the United States and its citizens. And since my curiosity is comparable to my obsession with chocolate chip cookies (endless!), I never stop exploring.

Being here and enjoying your way of life has taught me a great deal. I’ve became more patient, less shy, more confident, and more independent. Traveling alone or without friends and family causes me to step out of my well-known habits. It encourages me to try new things. Surrounding myself with people from another culture opened my mindset and gave me a better understanding of the world I live in. This list could go on forever, but I think you get what I'm saying. So let me just add one last thing: taking a gap year enables me to step out my comfort zone every day. And I am 100% serious when I say that so far this has been one of the best decisions in my life.

Lina Probst


I am Lina, a 17-year-old girl from Germany and since I graduated this summer from highschool I am taking a gap year right now. Since two months I am staying with a family here in Lakewood, whom I got to know in a two weeks exchange program with my school in Braunschweig/Brunswick. I am a passionated writer and deeply in love with your language, that's why I would like to share my view of your daily life with everyone who is interested. Also I'm trying to enhance my english skills whenever I can, to achieve my goal of speaking it fluently one day. I hope you'll enjoy my articles!


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Volume 13, Issue 20, Posted 12:05 PM, 10.17.2017