Sam Helderop received an acceptance letter from Michigan's Hope College this spring, but has no intention of going -- at least not in the fall of 2012.
The college has allowed him to defer his admission, and Helderop will take a gap year to teach English with the DaLaa project in a remote village in Thailand, then backpack throughout Southeast Asia -- "until my money runs out."
"I always wanted to travel pretty much my entire life," said Helderop, a graduating senior from Grand Rapids, Mich. "But after 18 years of the same old routine, going to school and sitting in class, I am not motivated enough right now to go through four years of college."
"I feel like a gap year will narrow down what I want to study and do in my life," he said. "To get my interest in education back again."