KGUN 9News


Lack of direction pushes teen to take 'gap year'

Posted at 9:02 PM, May 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-20 01:30:40-04
High school graduations are taking place across Tucson. For many of those walking across the stage, they have already decided what university they are going to.
But, have you heard of a 'gap year'? It may sound familiar because President Obama recently announced that his daughter, Malia, was doing just that. 
A gap year is when one would take on year off after high school ends and before college begins. KGUN9 talked to one Catalina Foothills High School graduate who is doing just that. 
"Almost all of my friends are going to college in the fall or in the spring," said 18-year-old Madison Kubiak.
On Wednesday, she dressed up in the same blue robes as her fellow classmates - but, her dreams are different.
"You know, like, how some kids are like, 'I'm going to do this when I'm older and I'm going to do this and this and this,'" Kubiak explained. "They all have an idea of what they want to do. Well, I really have no clue what I want to do. I still have no clue what I want to do." 
Madison said, the lack of direction she felt pointed her to a gap year. 
Some colleges are on board with the idea, as well - including Harvard University. Their website read, "students can defer enrollment to 'travel, pursue a special project or activity, work, or spend time in another meaningful way.' 
For Madison, that has lead her to an endless job search. 
"Literally, you could think of something and I've probably applied to that place," Kubiak said.
Finding a job is one of the stipulations set by her parents, who say, they are totally supportive of the gap year philosophy. 
"I don't want her floundering around in college, basically wasting my money," Tim Kubiak laughed. "I mean, let's be honest!"
Madison said, most of her classmates are actually envious of her chance to figure things out. 
"Most of my friends are like, 'If I had the option to not go to college and maybe take a gap year that would be nice,'" Madison said. "But, also a lot of my friends are saying if I took a gap year I don't think I'd go back."
She is hoping that will not happen to her or at least she will find some college or trade that will keep her passion for art alive, long after this gap year is up.