Lauren Haigh: Setting my Goals

After graduating high school, I felt lost without the structure of formal education. While I’ve had time to relax and enjoy myself over the summer, I realize I function optimally when there is a plan and concrete objectives to follow. Throughout, the year I will create achievable goals to keep me motivated.

My primary goal for this year is to learn how to independently maximize my time in Spain. I did not go abroad for my gap year because I believe I still have a lot of growing and maturing to do so I can fully enjoy being in a new environment. While this is a more abstract goal, I can make concrete tasks to strengthen my relationship with myself. I’ll be sure to make my own schedules and take initiative at my volunteer opportunities to build up trust in myself.

Additionally, in preparation for Spain, one of my goals is to learn more Spanish. Not only will it be useful for my time abroad, but its an important skill for a perspective major of mine, International Affairs. By volunteering with kids at a Spanish-speaking church in my community, I’ll be able to talk in broken Spanish with them, and increase my vocabulary. Furthermore, Kaya, the remote internship I will be completing, has language classes to assist me in this process.

The gap year functions as a time for me to narrow down my interests so I can start preparing for a career. As of now, I am passionate about many topics, such as, exercise physiology, physical therapy, kinesiology, foreign service and international development. As I will be getting exposure to foreign relations with the Kaya internship, I also want to expose myself to exercise science and biomechanics. By getting my personal training certification, I can determine whether this area of study is a viable career. I’ll be studying through the American Council of Exercise (ACE) because it is highly recognized in the fitness industry and will give me insight to what I may be studying for my undergrad.

Overall, my gap year is a time to explore myself and my interests so I am equipped with the right information to make decisions that will dictate my future. I’ll take various assessments to narrow my career goals as well as interview professionals in various fields to get their first-hand look on their careers. This year will be an enriching experience and will allow me to become the best version of myself.

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