Attending college is an incredible privilege—not all who are interested get the opportunity to do so. And, some who are fortunate enough to do so often discover that they either are not ready or don’t want to when the opportunity arises. In the past decade it has become increasingly acceptable for young people to take time between high school and college to take a “Gap Year” in order to explore the world and discover more fully who they are before pursuing a degree. Today, beyond being just acceptable, gap year experiences are being recognized as a highly valuable and desirable step for young people to take as part of their preparation for a degree, a career path, or any other next step on their life path.
Gap Year Holistic Education Mindset
Gap year experiences can be powerful periods of self-discovery. According to the American Gap Association, the benefits of taking a gap year include “increased maturity, greater ownership of the student’s education, and increased self awareness.” Over the years, the WE Immersion has served many young high school graduates who are seeking connective experiences and alternative models of education before embarking on a more traditional academic path. Time and again, the feedback we receive is that the experience of the WE Immersion prepares young people who are taking a gap year to meet the world with a greater understanding of themselves, their gifts and what sparks their curiosity and passion. From this place, we believe that young people are far more prepared for entering the rigors of higher education. The mainstream educational institutions of the modern world are incredibly good at preparing students within a certain modality of learning. What gap year experiences offer is a chance to flex and strengthen some of the musculature of learning and personal development that can often go missed within the framework of traditional western schooling.
Benefits and Information on Gap Year Experiences
The Weaving Earth Immersion offers a particularly potent and complimentary balance to the skills and learning styles emphasized in traditional schooling. Our approach to holistic, nature-based education strives to bring a balance of practical outdoor knowledge and the cultivation of curiosity and passion to ignite a love of learning. Holistic education focuses heavily on both the development of a mature sense of self in relation to all things as well as the transmission of skills. Our model is 100% experiential, rarely in a classroom, and always unfolds within the context of a community of other learners. We look to nature as a primary teacher and guide and draw critical thinking about our place in today’s complex world from that foundation. Rather than inundating participants with information, we focus on time-tested strategies that cultivate authentic self-knowing and real relationships with both the human and more-than-human world. We often say that “relationship leads and information follows.” Through this approach, those who choose to embark on a gap year at WE experience activities, exercises, practices, skills, and content that is designed to support the development of mature leaders who can draw upon a multiplicity of intelligences and creative responses to face our rapidly changing world.