The reason I took a gap year is because I didn’t know what I wanted to study in university and I was sick and tired of sitting in classrooms all day. I was the kind of person that occasionally skipped class and I had to really lock down and focus towards the end of my senior year to even graduate. I was in no spot to start college right after high school. It was the last thing on my list. I wanted to have some fun!
Now you may ask, “Okay, so what am I supposed to do during my gap year”? In my opinion it is important to take a gap year for a PURPOSE. I think everything you do in life should have a purpose. If you’re thinking you’ll take a gap year and chill at home, maybe get a job and “recover” from high school, then think again, that is a waste of time! My purpose for taking a gap year was to do something cool, something different and something out of the ordinary. I did a five month long Discipleship Training School (DTS) with Youth With A Mission (YWAM) in Townsville, Australia, and it was one of the coolest experiences of my life.
I didn’t know a single soul when I got there, but once we got into things I made some amazing friends that I’ll keep in contact with forever. A DTS is a Christian program that helps you cement yourself in Christ and turns head knowledge into heart knowledge. The goal is that this experience stays with you for the rest of your life and gives you a solid foundation to build on. Now a DTS is not all lectures and listening. In the lectures you learn how to practically use the information you learn to change your life right now! You’re getting out of your seat, doing different exercises, and discussing issues and God stuff with the people around you. The second half of the DTS is outreach where you’ll choose an elective and go and tell other people about what you’ve learned. I did Trekking, which was a badass experience. This involved trekking through the country of Papua New Guinea and living in remote areas for 5.5 weeks. We shared His love, and taught some practical behavioural concepts. If I could do it again I would. In a heartbeat. I will now be going into college with a zoomed out perspective of life. I have a bigger purpose for learning and growing. The DTS gave me a hunger for God, amazing experiences, relationships, and a strong foundation to build my life on.
What’s the rush for so many people to start university straight after high school even if they do know what they want to study? What does it matter if you become a nurse, coach, doctor, engineer, when you’re 26 instead of 25? Who cares? Why not go have a once in a lifetime experience and make some lifelong friends and travel across the world for 5-6 months before you settle down for who knows how many years and start your long, grueling studies? Why not build a foundation that you can build on in the years to come? In fact, one guy on my DTS changed his whole college major because he learned things about himself and God that made him change his focus of his life.
I recommend a DTS to every single person I know because it was so life changing for me and I believe it can be life changing for everyone else.
Noah was born in Germany, and now lives in Arkansas. He just finished his Discipleship Training School a moth ago and was on the trekking elective! Noah enjoys camping, road trips, and basketball. He’s passionate about community because it is such an important aspect of life to have. A fun fact about him is that he actually has a twin brother!