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LETTER: Gap year may be right for students

To the Editor:

Dive right into your college career or take a year to try and find your real spark (straight Red Wing High School inspiration right there) while getting more perspective on the world you are heading into alone?

It's our choice after all, is it not? Rather we begin our new found ''freedom'' as a respectable college student seeking an education, ready to be completely indoctrinated by another building and another educator. Or do we live dangerously and follow our obscure motivations by taking that gap year opportunity?

Gap years — when you take a year or two off from schooling — have so many benefits that you think it would be a given to take one.

First off, freshmen who have taken a year or so to volunteer, travel, work and various other things have been said to arrive at college much more mature and eager to learn than those who have not. That's not to say those who go right away are anything less. I mean really, hats off to those students who can do so successfully.

But having that little break allowing extra time to do some worldly things would help most people be more excited and ready to learn, rather than just being at college becoming educated because it's the proper thing to do.

Sitting inside a classroom setting is what most all high school students have spent a plethora of time doing. There are a lot of things out there that we should get to scrutinize and explore before we lock ourselves down once again. This would help open our eyes to hidden passions we just might have. Missing out on things that would potentially completely change what we would want to do with our futures is very intimidating.

Attending college is obviously a very expensive thing.

So if you're not sure what you want to do, why not spend some time exploring your options? Figure out what it is exactly that you would enjoy and be enthused about doing as a career for the rest of your life before you throw loads of money at courses that might end up having nothing to do with what you want.

Off to college or off to explore the possibilities? That's the choice my classmates and I are all about to make.

Hannah Lidahl

Red Wing

Hannah Lidahl attends Red Wing High School. She wrote this letter to the editor as part of an English class.