Ariana Olson (2019): A year of real-world lessons

Hi everyone!

My name is Ariana Olson, and I will be joining the class of 2019 at Olin next year. My gap year has centered a lot on working so far. I'm also continuing to learn outside of school, enjoying having time to spend doing activities I love, trying new things, spending time with my family, and making new friends!

As I said, work takes up A LOT of my life right now. I recently started full time at my high school job at a dry cleaners. My work schedule conveniently fills the time that school used to take up during my day: I open at 7 every morning and usually leave between 3 and 4 in the afternoon. I do a little bit of everything at my job including sorting, folding, bagging, and cashiering. I am glad I decided to work this year. It has given me a glimpse of how my life could have been, had I decided not to continue my education in college. It has also really made me appreciate school! Believe it or not, I miss classes and homework. I'm itching to get back to school!

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Celebrating the end of senior year with my best friends

Although I'm not attending any college at the moment (I'm taking a couple community college classes spring semester though!), I'm continuing to learn. The internet is an amazing thing! I've been learning and reviewing calculus and learning some computer programming and web design online. I've also been reading a lot of books! I have been a bookworm from before I could actually read, and this year has been a great opportunity to expand my knowledge through books. I've been reading everything from biographies to novels to books about philosophy and physics. I also listen to a lot of podcasts while I'm at work by myself, so even then I'm learning new things!

Even though I am glad to have taken a year off from school, it does mean I've had to make some tough adjustments too. It has been really weird being home while my friends are away at college. I miss being able to see them every day at school like last year. It has made me appreciate the time that I am able to spend with them even more! I have also become more appreciative of the time that I spend with the family and friends still in the area. I am so thankful to have another year home to spend with the people I love the most: my parents, sister, grandma, boyfriend, and dog. I am also enjoying making new friends with awesome people who I would have probably not gotten to know as well had I gone straight to college.

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Me and my Oma on Thanksgiving

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My boyfriend, Tim and my dog, Zoe

I am super excited start at Olin, but I am so glad I decided to take a gap year, and I encourage more students to take one. I think that taking a year off has forced me to learn and grow in ways I would probably not have until much later in life. I still have so much more that I want to share, but that will have to wait until my next post. Until then, I wish everyone at Olin and my fellow gappies good luck with everything!

Ariana

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