Why the fuck are you guys all up in arms over President and First Lady Obama’s oldest daughter taking a “gap year” — spending a year between finishing high school and starting up her studies at Harvard University? I mean, I know we’ve pretty much solved all the housing, jobs, food security, income inequality, gender inequality, and LGBT+ inequality issues and stuff. And I know we can all now focus on such trivial topics with the zeal and anger they deserve, but, well, why the fuck are you guys all up in arms over Malia Obama’s decision to take a year off?
Is it jealousy? Be honest. Are you jealous of the young woman who’s not only going to Harvard, but is taking time for personal growth and experience? Is it that you wish you could take a year off right now? Too fucking bad. You’re not Malia Obama, but you’re also very likely an adult who has long past that time in your life. So yeah.
Is this one of those “When I was YOUR age” kinda bullshit things? Because to borrow a phrase, “The times, they are a-changin’.” We don’t do a lot of things like we used to. Hell, when I tell my own kids about “phones” having cords and not apps on them during my childhood — which wasn’t that fucking long ago — they look at me like I just told them that we used to go the Moon on the weekends and play tennis with aliens. But I mean, even back in 1998 when I graduated high school, some kids would still take a year off before going away to college, so I just don’t see the big deal.
In fact, I have a friend I went to high school with that took a year off to live in Europe as a foreign exchange student. He has was one of three valedictorians of my graduating class. Did he suddenly become an academic laze-about? Not quite. He went onto to go to two of the most prestigious schools in the country and is one of the most highly successful, well-adjusted and tremendously awesome human beings I’ve known. Taking a gap year didn’t seem to keep him from climbing the ladder of success he had laid down in front of himself even when we were still growing up in that small little mountain town.
Sure, that’s all anecdotal to you. But I’d be willing to bet that you probably have known more than a few people who took a year between finishing high school and starting college. Maybe some didn’t succeed, others certainly did. In the end, it’s pretty easy to see that what determines success or failure in life post-mandatory schooling isn’t at all about whether you have the ability to take some time and do other things before embarking on your higher education.
Of course, there are Internet assholes, and then there are virulently racist assholes that are so racist they actually get a Fox News comments section shut down. Yes, you read that right, on Fox News the reaction to this non-story was so racist and vile Fox News actually had to shut down the comments. There have been articles all over the place with screencaps, and honestly how many times do you need to read a variation on a theme — the N-word, monkey references, etc. — so I’ll leave them out here. But just take a moment to think about how a young woman taking a year off to do something else with her life brought out the most disgusting of racist howling from the Internet’s shit pile of humanity.
But even if you’re not racist, you’re still a thick-headed dick if you think Malia shouldn’t take a gap year. I hate to break it to everyone, but she has plenty of time to let the stresses and pressures of the real world turn into the kind of petty asshole that gives a shit if young college-aged kids take a year off to explore themselves and the world around them. I mean, how dare they not want to go into college fresh out of high school with no perspective other than what they bring with them, right?