One Final Bye-Line

by Danielle Katz

An adventure is defined as “an unusual and exciting, typically hazardous, experience or activity.” Over the past seventeen years, Olney’s monotony has given me a deep sense of boredom, exposing me to my craving for every aspect of this definition. Especially during the past year, I have found myself and so many of my peers stuck in the trap of wishing our time away as unsolicited life advisors threw us contradicting clichés: “Senior year is your chance to have fun, be carefree!,” but “always think about the future, and don’t get distracted from your goals.”

After a year built off of cliches and conflicting advice, I knew I had to take a gap year before college. For the upcoming year, I wanted an experience that was nearly impossible to give advice for, in order to construct my own memories. So, like any sane high school senior, for the second time, I will be sticking myself into a country where I know a minimal to nonexistent amount of the language. This time, the destination is Brazil.

Though I am beyond excited, when people ask me what I’m doing next year, the “hazardous” nature of my adventure tends to steal the spotlight. No, I don’t know what part of Brazil, a 3.288 million sq. mile country, I’ll be in. No, I don’t know anything about my host family, but I know that I’ll be learning by living, which may further coddle my inability to choose a path of study to focus on. After my gap year, I’ll start college at GW with a new perspective and experience in what I want to spend the rest of my life doing. Taking a gap year in Brazil is the unusual, exciting, and hopefully only minorly hazardous stepping stone I need to skip between Olney’s stagnancy and DC’s fast-paced mentality