Sunday, June 5, 2011

What would you like to know?

The purpose of this post is to answer any questions you guys may have. A lot of people have asked me a lot of questions about my gap year lately, and I think it'd be good to have them all in one place, as a sort of "Frequently Asked Questions" post.

To ask a question, simply leave a comment below, and I will do my best to address it!

What about college?

I was happily surprised to learn that Harvard is actually very supportive of gap years! The Dean of Admissions, William Fitzsimmons, recently wrote an article on his belief in the importance of taking time off (see link under "Gap Year References" on the right). But I just sent in a letter detailing my request for deferral a few weeks ago, so we'll see what they say!

Friday, June 3, 2011

But what will I do?

I plan to spend the first three months of the year at home, the next three in India, the following three in Latin America, and the last three at home again.

While in the 703, I plan to catch up on all the things I wanted to do in high school for which I seldom found time: first and foremost, I want to spend as much time as possible with my little sister Priya. I also hope to volunteer at Flint Hill to give back to the community which has given me so much.

In India, I will work at Gyaan Ghar, the NGO I started in India three years ago for education of underprivileged children. Though I have spent many summers at the learning center, an extended period of time will allow me to focus on plans for expansion within Ludhiana itself, as well as opening new branches in other cities.

As for Latin America, since my dad works there, I hope to accompany him on a few of his trips there, and identify an environmental NGO with which to work on environmental conservation.

But along with more ambitious plans, I really hope to slow down a bit and focus on the little things such as reading for pleasure, focusing more on my interest in music, and enjoying my family.

Why the gap year?

Sooo, first things first: You may be wondering why I have elected to take a year off before the start of college. As I said in an interview for an article in our school paper:

"I had been toying with the idea of a gap year for a while, mainly because I will be seventeen instead of eighteen when entering college, but I never really thought I could actually convince myself to take one. I wished I had a year to hang out with my sister, travel the world, and, most importantly, finally learn to drive! But I also knew I was excited about beginning college. I think it really hit me when a friend of mine asked me if I was all ready for moving into my dorm on August 22nd. It just struck me that in just one summer I would be in college. And as ridiculously excited as I was and am, for some reason, I just didn't feel ready for that. I know college would be ineffably AMAZING even if I started right now, but I just think that one year to reflect, relax, and learn outside of a classroom setting would make me even more ready to avail myself of all the incredible resources afforded by a college education."

For the full text of the article, written by Victoria Flagg (aka Ginge) see this link:

About this Blog

As many of you may know, I am planning to take a year off before I head to college in the fall of 2012. Because I will be active on Facebook on and off, I hope to keep in touch with you all via this blog (as well as email and phone, of course). My goal is that I do at least one thing each day that is "worth writing home about" -- and this blog is where I will "write home."