Nearly every time I tell someone I’m taking a gap year, the response goes something like this, “oh, so you didn’t get in?” *insert extreme internal eye roll*
The people who question me about my decision to take a gap year before law school are not lawyers or future lawyers, they’re mostly people in the medical field, or future doctors. I’m guessing gap years are frowned upon in their field, or they signal that the application process didn’t go as planned? On the other hand, nearly every attorney I know, except one, suggested I take a gap year or two before law school. Their reasoning, as seen in my About Me, is that students who take some time off before law school are better prepared, contribute more to their classes, and are more likely to take classes that interest them, rather than classes that are an “easy” grade. This made sense to me and I chose to follow their advice.
I graduated in December 2016 and two weeks later I was signing an apartment lease in Austin to work the legislative session (the Texas Lege meets every two years for 140 days). My plan was to stay in Austin for the remainder of my gap year after session ended, but I came home a week after sine die because of a family emergency. (Things are better now, thank God). My plans have changed a little due to circumstances outside of my control, what was supposed to be a gap year will become two.
Now, I knew I wanted to take a gap year before law school since my junior year of university, but I never thought about taking two, and it was difficult to come to terms with that. I started feeling extremely depressed and very anxious, my motivation and discipline to study disappeared, and I avoided spending time with people other than those I’m closest to. Then one day, I realized that it wasn’t so much that I was going to extend my gap year, it was that I didn’t want to deal with people thinking I’m a “failure,” or that I wasn’t good enough to get accepted to law school. They’re not in my situation, so why should it matter what they think? Realizing this helped me feel better, it also motivated me to start this blog in hopes of shedding light on someone who might be feeling like this too.
Whatever your reason is for taking a gap year, or if you’re considering taking one, make the best of it. I’m using mine to spend time with my family, invest in myself, work, and give back to my community. I know a gap year is not for everyone, but it is for me, and I’m glad to be enjoying it again.