Burlet takes a detour on the road to college


Brianna Ary

Julianna Burlet chooses to take a gap year through the Vanguard program instead of jumping into college.

It’s one of the most talked about days of the year; decision day. When May 1 finally rolled around, seniors showed up to school in their newest, flashiest college t-shirts, except for one proud student.

Next year Julianna Burlet, senior, decided to pursue a gap year program, called Vanguard, through Wheaton College instead of immediately going to college.

Vanguard is an intense year of discipleship, fellowship, and leadership training at HoneyRock camp in Three Lakes, Wisconsin.

The program consists of about 20 students, most of whom are also graduating high school this year along with Burlet.

The program begins September 2015 and runs through August 2016, where she will study the Bible, along with hiking and canoeing trips.

“I decided to take a gap year after seeing the positive effect it had on my older sister Katrina’s life,” Burlet said, “She took time off after her sophomore year to do mission work. I realized it was what I was meant to do next year.”

Burlet hopes to accomplish a lot during her full year at Vanguard, not only physically but emotionally as well.

“I definitely think it’ll change me as a person. I see myself being vastly more mature than I am today, both spiritually and mentally,” Burlet said.

Although most seniors at Central decided to take the traditional route next year, Burlet does not regret her decision.

“I believe [taking the gap year] will give me a different perspective on the world that I wouldn’t have had if I went straight to college after high school. I see myself truly valuing my education and being more focused and determined about what I want to study next year,” Burlet said.

Despite the fact Burlet will spend the next twelve months in Wisconsin, she still plans to attend Hope College the following year.

“Of all the colleges I visited and applied to, Hope was definitely my favorite,” Burlet said, “It had everything I wanted athletically, academically, and spiritually. It’s such a perfect fit for me.”

Following her decision to take a gap year, Burlet hopes that others will follow in her footsteps. According to Burlet, the guidance office will begin to make more resources available for students thinking about taking gap years, maybe even in the form of a fair.

“I know that gap years aren’t very popular right now, but I truly believe they have the potential to truly shape someone for the better before they step on campus their freshman year. I couldn’t be more excited that more and more people are pursuing gap years,” Burlet said.