Gap Year Becomes Increasingly Alluring Option


Due to the spread of Covid-19 across the globe, colleges may be forced to continue with online classes through the fall of 2020, forcing incoming freshman to make a very difficult choice.

The global pandemic has forced people quarantine themselves from each other through practicing social distancing. Understandably, this meant the temporary closing of many businesses, institutions. Just exactly how long these restrictions will be in place in unclear at this point, forcing schools to consider their options in they are not allowed to meet in person for the 2020-2021 school year.

Likewise, this creates a serious issue for current seniors who are planning on attending college next year. More and more schools are slowly giving students, domestic and international, the option to take a gap year.

Williston’s seniors are facing these challenges head on as many of them have already committed to their schools for the fall.

Lila Schaefer, a senior from Northampton, Massachusetts plans on attending Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, in the fall. She is not sure whether she will be able to attend her freshman year on campus.

“To my knowledge, Bates hasn’t made a statement on what will be happening this fall,” she said. “I think that, like many other schools, the fall semester is uncertain and they are working to figure out what it will look like.”

Senior Anya Rozario, also from Northampton, is planning on attending Pomona College in Los Angeles, California, in the fall. She is worried about her plans for next year as her college requires her to make a decision early.

“I’m still working this out and talking to my parents because I don’t want to wait to go to college and I want to have a good experience” she says. “I don’t think the school is going to be excited for people to defer, so they have a form that you have to fill out telling them exactly what you’re gonna do and it has to be pretty detailed and I still don’t know what I want.”

If she has to stay home next year, Anya said she would, “to get a job and get involved in the community” but doesn’t know if she will be able to.

Lila has big plans for next year in the event that college is online. “If the fall of freshman year is online, I will most likely defer until I can start when school won’t be online” she said.

“I have always been curious about doing a gap year/semester, so if I end up taking one, I already have some ideas about what I would do. Hiking parts of the Appalachian Trail and driving cross country are things the I’ve always wanted to do, and if I take a gap year, I would definitely love to explore some of those options.”