By Amelia Froehlich ’19
As the class of 2019 of Regis Jesuit prepares for college, some are preparing in a less typical way. Most Regis students go to a traditional-four year college, but few decide to break out of convention and follow their gut. Taking a gap year or going to a military academy is a hard choice to make; a choice that many past and present Regis Jesuit students have made once they walk across the stage at Graduation.
Going to a Military Academy requires that the applicant goes above and beyond the typical college application. Eddie Custy explains that the application to West Point includes both a physical test, grades, test scores, essays.
“The most difficult part is that you have to get a letter of recommendation from your congressman,” Custy said.
Despite the more complex application, there is one thing that draws people into the several military academies across the country. Custy went to a West Point Academy Graduation ceremony and describes how he,
“Saw the pedigree of the kids there and the character that everyone possessed and the traits of leadership that developed. It’s like, I want to be here two years from now.”
He continues to describe that everyday, you wake up and work for something that is bigger than you, you work for your team and that is what drives each Cadet to get up every morning and work hard.
This type of environment and cadet experience is how the military academies instill leadership into each student and how they are able to gain an understanding of their physical and mental limits and character.
Taking a gap year takes another kind of dedication for hopeful applicants. Some applicants want to travel the world, some want to raise money to pay for college, some want to do service in their local or global community and others want to go on a missionary trip.
People looking into a gap year spend months trying to find the program that feels right for them. They will research hundreds of programs in order to find the gap year plan that fulfills their passions.
“I’m doing a Christian Gap year 9 month mission trip. We’re all travel to Romania, Guatemala and Ecuador; spending three months in each place,” Higdon said.
Higdon has found a deeper sense of her own faith and has be called to work as a missionary. She is going with the mission to spread the Gospel around the world and she,
“Just want to fall even deeper in love with Jesus. There’s something about having nine months just completely dedicated to glorifying him every single day,” she says.
When she returns from her nine month mission trip, Higdon will attend Gordon College, which started as a missionary training center in Boston, and major in Christian Ministry to go onto continue more missionary work.
Taking nine months to go around the world can be expensive. Higdon explains,
“For this specific trip it is over $16,000,” says Higdon, “I’m currently in the fundraising process and getting prepared financially but also in prayer for my trip to be able to share the gospel with the people I will serve.”
Higdon has done multiple different fundraisers; from a Nekter Juice Bar fundraiser to selling shirts with her own design. To keep all of her family and friends up to date, she has a blog on the World Race website and which also shows the total of how much she has raised thus far.
Making the choice to take a gap year or go to a military academy can be challenging. The two paths are very different, but both sides take a lot of consideration and an understanding of what you want from your next few years. Whether seeking leadership or spreading the gospels, take the time to consider what you are looking for in your years after high school and follow what your heart and gut are pulling you towards.