Alumni Spotlight: Annika!

Meet Annika, an alumna of our Latin America Fall Gap Semester 2018!  After her semester with Thinking Beyond Borders, Annika continued traveling for the second half of her gap year.  Next year she will be attending Williams College and she is still undecided about her major (no rush, Annika!).  Continue reading for her full interview.  If you’d like to speak with an alumni of our programs, reach out to us via [email protected] and we’ll put you in touch with someone who completed the program you’re most interested in.


How has your gap experience influenced/contributed to your academic and professional goals?
I have become exponentially more interested in a multitude of studies that I hadn’t really considered before taking a Gap Year, including: environmental science, anthropology, sociology, education, international relations/global affairs, political science, etc. (too many to list/remember). TBB helped me realize there are so many more options for study and adventure that this world has to offer than I was exposed to in high school.
How did your gap year influence your approach to social justice?
It has increased by interest in social justice, but more importantly, TBB helped me realize it is possible for me to be an agent of change. I was very overwhelmed by this world before a Gap Year, and I think a year off (with TBB especially) helped me slow down and look at issues in new ways. I feel like TBB will influence my decisions in college and after and help me pursue new paths in social justice work that might have been a bit more hidden before.
What’s one piece of advice you’d have for anyone considering taking a gap year?
Do it! So many people I have met have said, “Oh, I wish I had taken a gap year!” No one has ever said, “Man, I really hated that gap year, I wish I had just gone straight to college.” You will not regret your decision to take a gap year, even if you don’t take it with TBB (though TBB is an incredible gap year program that has changed my life and that I am so grateful to.)
Thanks for sharing with us, Annika!  And thanks for the kind words!