On Deck with Chase Taylor

Natalie Wexler It’s the end of May, which means we’ve almost made it. While it’s happy we will be able to not have to check RomanNet on the reg or have ridiculously early lunches, we will also have to say goodbye to the beloved class of 2017 who will be off to college. But not all of them will be heading to college in the fall, as some, like Chase Taylor,  will be taking gap years. I recently caught up with Chase to find out more about his gap year before he heads down to USC in fall of 2018. Wex: What are you doing for your gap year? Chase: First semester I’m doing a program called Semester at Sea, where you are on a cruise ship with 500 other kids and taking classes. It starts in Germany and it goes around to Spain, Ghana, South Africa, Vietnam, Myanmar, India, Indonesia, China, Japan, Hawaii, and then it ends in San Diego on December 23rd. Second semester I’m doing a mountain school program called Ridge Mountain Academy. Basically I’m skiing while doing internships with ski patrol and stuff like that. I’m also taking a few classes on avalanche safety, and snow maintenance, and cool topics I won’t be able to take in college. But I still have to figure out what I am doing in the summer… I’m thinking of doing internships during the two summers. That’s my plan. Wex: How did you choose these gap years? Chase: I went to this gap year fair at New Trier when I was looking at colleges. I looked into it because I wanted to keep my options open in case I wanted to take a gap year. Basically, these gap year fairs organize all of these big and small gap year programs into this big fair. You walk around and all of these programs set up in booths and tables…. I got all of these brochures and books and stuff and then I picked the ones that worked the best for me and suited my interests the best. Wex: How do you think taking a gap year first will help you in college? Chase: One of the main reasons why I am taking a gap year was because I felt there wasn’t really a rush to go to college and I wanted to do and learn things I would really never be able to do ever again in college or after. I think getting these new experiences and perspectives is really important and I think it makes you more well rounded. I think if you live in Chicago your whole life you live in a bubble. I think it is really important to explore other parts of the world or explore different cultures you may never get to see again and different lifestyles. I lived in the city my whole life and I think going to Montana for 4 months with twenty other kids in the middle of nowhere to go skiing would be really different and really fun to do. College will be there but taking a gap year is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Best of luck to Chase on his gap year and good luck to the class of 2017 and wherever life takes you!]]>