Any college graduate can tell you the mental wrestling involved in deciding whether to go right to work or take a year to figure it out. But this year hiatus — the gap year — is not just the purview of young adults.
On Tuesday, November 8 ,at 7 p.m. Holly Bull of the Center for Interim Programs at 145 Nassau Street will discuss “Taking Creative Gap Time At Any Age” at the Princeton Public Library. For more information on this free workshop, E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 609-924-7108.
Since 1980 the Center for Interim Programs has placed more than 5,000 students and working adults into projects designed to expand the experiences of those who have always wanted to do something, but might have never been sure what (U.S. 1, March 24, 2010). The center does not sell adventure travel packages, but rather it helps working adults figure out what they can do to recharge, re-connect, and reinvigorate.
Bull is the daughter of Cornelius Bull III, a World War II Navy veteran and a graduate of the Lawrenceville School and Princeton University whose teaching career took him to numerous spots around the globe. One such post, in Arizona, led to Cornelius Bull overseeing the field trip programs that the school’s founder had made part of the core curriculum. He watched buses roll out past the school’s iron gates, filled with students heading for Mexico, where they would perform various service projects. “Throughout the entire year, these projects were the only things the kids would talk about,” says Holly. From that point on, her father began placing gap-year program ideas into shoe boxes.
By 1980 Cornelius, who died in 2004, had returned from headmastering in Austria and Texas and had launched the Center for Interim Programs from his Princeton home. He pulled out the shoe boxes and began matching them to students eager to experience life while young. Among the first of these youngsters was his daughter.
Holly took her first collegiate academic semester in Greece. She returned to the University of Virginia, as she terms it, “so much more settled, and knowing where I wanted to go.”
Two years later she went on a second academic/roaming gap trek through Nepal and India. After a series of adventures abroad and an anthropology degree from UVA, Holly joined her father in l986.
“I see not just greater acceptance, but vastly increasing need for the gap year — at all stages of life — more than ever,” says Bull.