Seniors pursue alternative post-high school paths


Lizzie Ambre

Sydney Hindrichs will be doing missionary work in South America for nine months through the World Race.

Lauren Beh, Staff Writer

As the school year slowly comes to a close, college is the only thing that seems to be on most seniors’ minds. For the majority of the graduating students, next year will hold the beginning of their freshman year at colleges and universities across the country. However, some seniors have decided to take a gap year instead of going straight back to school. Examples of these students include Seniors Sydney Hindrichs and Frankie Gormly, both of whom chose to pursue alternative post-high school paths.

Students take gap years for various reasons, but for Hindrichs, most of the year will take place abroad, specifically in Guatemala, Basurto, and Cambodia, on a mission trip called the World Race that lasts from August to May. She found out about the organization through her friend, who went on the eleven month trip and loved it enough to convince Hindrichs to check it out. With minimal experience in mission trips, Hindrichs is excited to learn, grow, and think about what she wants to do after the year is up.

Just like other seniors, Hindrichs still applied to all of the colleges she’s interested it, and will defer an acceptance. This way, she is still able to change her mind if she wants, and it provides a nice backup plan. Her decision of course has both positive and negative effects, but for now, the pros outnumber the cons. “The pros are being able to take a year off and think about what I want to do, while having a life changing experience like a mission trip at the same time,” Hindrichs said.

The pros are being able to take a year off and think about what I wanna do, while having a life changing experience like a mission trip at the same time.

— Sydney Hindrichs

Senior Frankie Gormley is also taking a gap year. During his fall semester, Gormley hopes to get involved with a political campaign, although he isn’t completely sure which one yet. He will spend the winter in the Mall of America, working as a character at Nickelodeon Universe. In the spring, Gormley will start with the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS). The program offers a course specifically for students taking gap years to get hands-on leadership practice during a 64-day backpacking trip.

He heard about the program through his friend’s older brother, who went on the trip and loved it. Gormley also had the help of his own older brother, who took a gap year as well, in making the decision to take some time off. “My parents have always encouraged that I do a gap year, and NOLS sounded really interesting to me, so it wasn’t really a hard decision to make.” Gormley said.

After his gap year is over, Gormley will head off to Puget Sound University. In the meantime, Gormley looks forward to spending time outdoors, taking time off from school, and gaining a new perspective from his experience. “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity, and one that I’d never get to do later in life. Even though I won’t be at school, I’ll still be learning new things the whole time,” Gormley said.