Gap Years are Opportunities for Growth

Alumni reflect on experiences, interests

More stories from Nadia Lee


Photo submitted by Jake Borgida

Next year, Borgida is planning to attend Trinity College in Hartford, Conneticut.

For Bea Buckley ’18, her gap year served as time to pursue her passion for horse riding. For Jake Borgida ’17, the time off was an opportunity to focus on hockey. For Sean Bazzett ’18, a gap year meant new experiences abroad.

     Gap years do not have to be a year full of expensive travel trips or a year lounging at home in bed before heading off to college. The function of a gap years is to take a break from school in order to designate time towards different types of opportunities.

     Because of her gap year, Buckley was able to ride competitively at a national level and work for horse shows, which opened doors to meet many people from all over the world. She explains, “I met people that I would never have been friends with in high school.” For Buckley, her mindset after high school was simply not to go to college straightaway. She adds, “I wouldn’t have been ready, now, I’m super excited to go to school. I am excited to work. I am excited to learn new things and go to class and meet new people again.”

     During his time off, Borgida’s junior hockey team won in their division twice. During his senior year of high school, Borgida applied to colleges like the rest of his classmates, but towards the end of his final year in high school, he decided to pursue junior hockey. He says, “There’s a ton of different things you could do with a gap year, hockey is just one of them. I was ready for college, but now I think I am even more prepared and excited to go.” Although his time away from school has included many positives, Borgida adds, “Youíre definitely set behind a little bit, but overall, [a gap year] is definitely a way to go.”

     Traveling can allow for exposure to new experiences and in turn, can spark new discoveries and passions. Bazzett always yearned to travel to Japan and to advance his knowledge of the Japanese language, so the gap year seemed an obvious choice. Bazzett reflects, “I want[ed] to hold my ground in an academic environment without any English by the end.” Throughout his gap year, Bazzett tried to refrain himself from seeking out English speakers and connections to the States, asking even friends and family to refrain from communicating with him in order to fully immerse. Immersion was Bazzett’s way of learning beyond Blake, demonstrating the breadth of experiences possible in a gap year.