Banks prepares for gap year, plans to travel and volunteer


Courtesy of Brigid Banks

Senior Brigid Banks elected to take a gap year to travel and volunteer. Banks is planning to do work with animal conservation during this time and apply to schools next year.

Autumn Sinnett, Staff Reporter

Like many seniors, Brigid Banks navigated through the college application process over the last few months. After hearing back from the schools she applied to, Banks elected to take a gap year instead of enrolling at a school in the fall semester. 

“After high school, I will not be going to college. Instead, I’m going to be taking a gap year to work, traveland apply [to colleges] again,” Banks said.

During the summer, Banks is traveling to Australia and New Zealand within the span of a month.

“Australia and New Zealand are both beautiful places and I’ve always wanted to get to go,” Banks said

While traveling, Banks hopes  to hike, explore, take pictures and volunteer with the hope of enjoying her time in new places and spending time in nature. 

“I’m excited to travel, but part of the reason I want to travel is to do [new] things,” Banks said. “I plan on volunteering at animal conservations and working with some animal approximation programs.” 

Banks found her inspiration to volunteer, online, through a photographer. The mix of art and helping nature intrigued her. 

“I have followed this photographer for the last year and they do animal conservation and the pictures are just amazing. Being able to work with animals and do photography while also getting to help the animals would be such a privilege,” Banks said.

Although Banks is excited to volunteer, she does have other things she wants to do during her travels including spending time outdoors.. 

“I also want to be able to hike around and explore Australia and New Zealand. I just love being in nature. Growing up my mom’s career [allowed me to be]  in nature a lot, so I think that’s where my love for the outdoors started,” Banks said.

Banks is looking forward to taking a gap year to take a break from schoolwork. Although she has never loved school, she hopes that the time off will fuel her motivation when she enrolls in a school. 

“I’m also hoping [the gap year] will give me some rest and I can enjoy the time to do something I’m more passionate about,” Banks said. “I’ve never been a school person, I have good grades but I don’t love being in class and classwork.”

Banks fears that while traveling and volunteering she will enjoy it to the point where she does not want to enroll in a school. 

“One fear I do have is if I just don’t come back because I’m just not a person who loves being in school,” Banks said.

With Banks already wanting to start saving for college next year, how to afford this trip was a slight concern. Luckily though, Banks had people who wanted to help.

“For the financial aspect, I plan on working and doing odd jobs throughout my gap year. I have some family members who are providing some financial help since they don’t have kids of their own. They like supporting me,” Banks said. “I’ve also been saving money by working, especially my photography business. It is small but definitely something I enjoy doing.”

After the month of traveling, Banks does plan on getting prepared for college and her career. Banks loves photography and knows she wants to study it. 

“After traveling, I will hopefully come home to do a photography internship,” Banks said. “I’m definitely doing photography [in college], I’m just not sure if I want to minor in photography and major in fine arts or just major in photography. I just know that I want to be a photographer.”

Banks is unsure of which type of photography she specifically wants to pursue. She does know she wants to mix art with something she finds interesting.

“I want [to] be able to combine art with other things like. I love learning about space [and] aeronautics. They actually have NASA photographers so doing something of a combination like that interests me,” Banks said.

During her gap year she wants to have freedom and relax but also prepare for her undergraduate studies. Banks wants to make sure she’s ready financially and mentally.

“I’ll be working while doing my internship to make some money [and] maybe do a couple smaller travels,” Banks said. “I’m still undecided but I do plan to apply for more financial aid and more colleges just to widen my options.”