2023 graduates opt to take a gap year


Skylar DeBose

Sebi Morse (left), Siri Izora (top right) and Mathieu Dupeyroux (bottom right) plan to take a gap year post-graduation to pursue their passions and expand on hobbies.

Each year, an increasing number of students are deciding to take a gap year between high school and college. According to PBS, 30,000 to 40,000 students took a gap year in 2015, a 20% increase from the previous year. 

In interviews with The Cardinal Times, Lincoln students expressed their choice to take a gap year as a result of travel desires, expanding on hobbies, personal growth and school burnout. 

For some students, the choice to take a gap year was easier than others. 

“Since I got the first idea to [take a] gap year, I [knew I was] going [to do it],” said senior Siri Izora. 

Unlike Izora, this decision did not come easy for senior Sebi Morse. 

“[Initially], I felt like I was going to be a year behind everyone… but then I came to realize that  next year I’m going to be much more mature,” said Morse. “[College] is gonna be an experience that I’m gonna delay by a year but I’m not missing out on any of it whatsoever.”

For senior Mathieu Dupeyroux, college originally wasn’t a part of his future plans. However, during the pandemic, he discovered passions that he wanted to pursue in the future. He plans to work on his film and animation portfolio while improving on bouldering, guitar and drumming. 

“My original plan wasn’t to go to college at all, [but] because of COVID, I then decided what I wanted to do. I need the gap year for extra time to workout my [college] portfolio,” said Dupeyroux. 

Family support encouraged senior Morse to take a gap year. Two of Morse’s siblings took a gap year. 

“My parents were big advocates and they helped me fund it, which was a huge part [of my decision],” said Morse. 

Morse’s passion for biking is the foundation of his gap year. Ever since he saw the Tour de France in Denmark in 2022, Morse has been biking 30 to 40 miles a day. He plans to take a bike tour around the United States or Europe. 

“I decided that I should incorporate [biking] into my gap year because it’s very affordable versus flying or driving. The community of people you can meet along the way, the trips you can do, it’s the best way of traveling,” said Morse. 

Izora plans to work on farms in Hawaii, Virgin Islands and Sweden. This desire was sparked from Tim Swinehart’s Environmental Justice class at Lincoln and Izora’s passion for social justice. 

 “The reason I’m going into farming is because of its connection to activism and food sovereignty. I’m going and working for farms that prioritize food, freedom, food sovereignty and food independence, so that people have not only access to food, but to healthy food,” said Izora. 

After over a decade of attending school, some students say a gap year can be a needed way to unwind and discover yourself. 

“I’m most looking forward to getting out of my comfort zone [and] meeting new people. People sometimes tell me I’ve never met a stranger so I hope I can continue that and make new connections [with] people that I’ll know for a lifetime,” said Morse.  

Although Izora is not immediately attending college, they are eager to continue learning during their gap year. 

“I’m also excited to learn in a new way. Even though I’m not going to school, what I’m doing is educational and I’ll be able to learn in an unconventional way,” said Izora. 

Each individual has a different path for the future. 

“Everybody has their own situation. It could work for some people and could not, but I think that a lot of people rush into making a big decision about how to spend the rest of their life,” said Dupeyroux. 

Izora agrees.

“The whole reason I’m taking a gap year is to figure out what I want to do with my future,” they said. 

Morse offered advice for people considering a gap year. 

“If not now, when are you gonna do it? The older you get the harder it is to do,” said Morse.