Is a gap year for you?

The pros and cons of taking a year off

Jenny Moreno

What are your plans after high school?

Do you plan on attending college? Working? Or enlisting?

Or taking a gap year by chance? What exactly is a gap year you may ask? A gap year is a period, typically in an academic year, taken by a student after graduating high school before heading off to college. Many students choose to take a gap year because of their financial situation or they just simply aren’t prepared to attend a university. Taking a gap year can have its benefits and little negative impacts depending on the way you see it and understand it.

 

A benefit of taking a gap year is that whenever or if you ever do attend college you’ll be very well prepared for college since you did take a year off and had time to get yourself ready and prepared.

During that year you’ve been outside of an educational environment so you learned how to be independent on your own, learned how to work and provide for yourself and also you learned how to save money for college and still be financially stable for what’s to come, like college.

Also, if you didn’t get enough on your resume during your high school years during your gap year away from college you could enter the workforce, volunteer, or even experience new things that would fit your resume.

For example, if you take a gap year and you wanted to study broadcast journalism, you could visit and shadow local news stations in your area, which would give you an idea of what your future would look like. It also would be good on your resume to show your interest in the career but also show how an efficient and responsibly you used your year away from college.

Lastly, a Pro benefit from taking a gap year would be that you have a year to travel around the world and spend more time with your family. During your travels, you may wound up changing your major, where you want to attend college, and also you get to meet new people outside of the school environment who can make a huge impact on your life in the near future.

So taking a gap year is not so bad if you want to get to know the world and gain life experiences but you also have to think about the negative factors as well.  

 

 However many benefits a gap year has is also how many negative factors it has. A gap year can make you feel very lonely since maybe some of your friends or classmates already started their freshman year of college, enlisted, or got a full-time job You may also think about how your classmates will already be a year ahead of you when you start college so you may not have anyone by your side through your first semester. As well as when you were a high school student you probably applied for scholarships and financial aid but some scholarships will not allow you to take a gap year and you will also have to re-apply for more scholarships and financial aid so you are at the risk of losing a good amount of money if you decide to take a gap year. Lastly, some universities and employers do not like that student take a “Year off” they might let someone else take your spot that started college before you because they seem more prepared.

As high school seniors, you are grown and mature enough to make your own decision on what college to attend, where to enlist, where to work, and if college is the right way to go for you. These pros and cons can encourage or discourage you but it’s up to you and only you to decide your future.

 

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