Hegstad takes a gap year in Norway

More stories from Sara J. Norton

Senior+Marit+Hegstad+is+standing+with+a+Norweign+flag+from+camp+next+to+her+Christmas+tree.

Photo submitted by Marit Hegstad

Senior Marit Hegstad takes a picture next to her Christmas tree as she announces her gap year in Norway. Everyone congratulated Hegstad as her mom announced her plans on Facebook.

Senior Marit Hegstad is taking a gap year in Norway after she graduates to immerse herself in the culture and travel Europe. She is excited, but also nervous as she gets ready to take on a new chapter of her life.

Hegstad has gone to a Norweigan camp ever since she was little immersing herself in the culture. Her mom, Becky Hegstad, taught day camps about the Norweigan culture when she was little exposing her to the culture at a very young age. Since she is already familiar with the culture, moving away from home to a new country is not that scary for her.

“My mom used to teach Norwegian day camps for like preschoolers, so I did that when I was like four-ish. I also started going to the summer camp. When I was six, and then I’ve gone every summer since then. So it’s always been part of my life,” Hegstad said. 

Hegstad is going to live on campus for students who are taking a gap year after high school. There are free classes to take that allow her to explore her interest without cost like it would for college. The school also allows students to travel to other parts of Europe with them at no additional cost.

It’s going to be so amazing to experience life outside of the Stillwater bubble. It’s going to be life-changing for her as she’s gonna see elements of culture and things that are valued and not valued in different ways. She’s going to grow as a person because she’s gonna be exposed to differences. I’m super super excited for her.”

— Kris McCarthy

Our Saviors Luthern Church youth director Chad Larson said that Hegstad is good at taking new things and running with them. She has the ability to be a delegate and lead a team. 

Hegstad’s teachers see her as someone who is hardworking, motivated and an amazing person. She shows leadership in many different ways when working in small groups. She is a role model to many people as she is taking a brave step in her life by heading to Norway for a year.

“It’s going to be so amazing to experience life outside of the Stillwater bubble. It’s going to be life-changing for her as she’s gonna see elements of culture and things that are valued and not valued in different ways. She’s going to grow as a person because she’s gonna be exposed to differences. I’m super super excited for her,” psychology and history teacher Kris McCarthy said. 

Hegstad said she is not nervous about this change in her life as she is already very familiar with the culture. She is excited to get away for a year to travel to a different part of the world. The only thing she is nervous about is leaving her pets behind.

Hegstad says she is not nervous or worried about missing her family because “it will be like going to college.”

As Hegstad gets prepared to move across the world for a year, she has an abundance amount of support from her friends and family. Everyone is ecstatic to watch as she starts this new journey in her life.