The Gap Year, or How I Will Not Be In School (For A While)

I’m finally done with college! Some time this week, I will post my thoughts on my four-year journey. But now I think I should answer the ultimate question that I have been asked for months: “What are your plans after college?”

I was ambiguous about it, from saying, “I plan on going to graduate school in a year or two” to “I am going to travel for a bit,” but my answers never sounded definite. It was not because I was undecided about my plans; those things were on my list, during this grace period of free time before applying for graduate studies. It was because I was reluctant to reveal my real plans, even though they were obvious of my general pursuits.

I plan to write. My first project is the long-awaited novel that now has my full attention.

This novel has been a very precious work for more than 7 years. Yes, it’s been that long; I began conceptualizing the novel when I was starting high school. Since then, it has developed into a mature piece, heading in the direction I had hoped it would go. I have researched extensively and workshopped portions of the novel during college. The story and the characters became real to me, in a way that I know the characters like they were my group of friends, and they want me to share their stories because they trust that I will stay true to their message.

So during this grace period, I intend to actually turn this story into a manuscript. I also intend to write about the process, from time to time, so everyone knows I’m using my time wisely by working on something I’m passionate about. (That, and also learning how to drive, now that I’m back in the suburbs…) But because I prefer to be private about my work, I will refer to the novel as “Culdesac Tsismis”. (It is essentially about the characters talking about what goes on in each other’s lives–and since they are Filipino, it is humorously appropriate to call their gossip “tsismis”.)

I hope this will be a prosperous step in my writing career. There are no doubt some obstacles that will come my way, but it is necessary to take risks when you want really something in your life to happen.

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