Consider taking a gap year

There are more pros than taking a year off


Graphic created by Bryce Clark

Gap year: A survey taken by the Gap Year Association shows that after taking a gap year, 55% of survey participants had improved their cultural awareness, 48% of participants had improved their communication skills, and 39% of participants had improved their self direction. Gap years have provided many students with opportunities that they wouldn’t get in an academic environment.

A gap year is where people can take some time before starting college or their career to get a better idea of who they are and what they want to do with their life.

With traditional 4-year universities often times costing upwards of $10,000 per year according to CollegeData, and a lot of people being unsure about what they want to do at only 18, taking a gap year can be a great way for people to figure out what they want to do for their education and career before spending tens of thousands of dollars.

One of the main reasons why a lot of people take a gap year is to travel and experience things that they wouldn’t be able to in work or school. These new experiences can then help them figure out more about themselves and what they want to do in life, plus, they can look great on a college or job application.

However, gap years can be expensive, and a lot of students who plan on going to college probably need that money to pay for tuition and other college expenses. Another possible problem that could come from taking a gap year is that students might have difficulty going back to school.

“I feel like if you take a gap year you’re just gonna kind of get out of the flow of school, and you’re gonna forget how to keep with doing your work and stuff,” junior Bronson Raybourn said.

While it is possible that students could get out of the flow of school as a result of taking a gap year, spending a year away from an academic environment could also leave people feeling refreshed with more energy for school.

Gap years don’t have to be expensive either. Another option for a gap year is to spend it working and gaining new experiences that way, while putting away money for college or anything else.

One possible problem that students face is the societal pressure to start college or start a career right after high school. This pressure could cause students to choose a career path that they aren’t sure if they actually want to pursue, which could then cause them to be unhappy in their career later on.

“If they start something that they think they’re gonna like, and then they don’t like it, like after like two years of doing it, it would just be a waste of money. Like you should just keep doing it, because you’re already doing it, and you don’t have more money,” Raybourn said.

Taking a gap year is a great way for people to experience the world outside of a classroom, which can help them figure out what they are really interested in and what career path is right for them. This would help people make good career choices early on and help make sure that they don’t end up regretting their decisions later.

While taking a gap year isn’t the right decision for everyone, people who are unsure about their future and want to take some time to figure out what they really want to do in life, people who want to make some money while taking a break from the classroom, or even people who just feel like their college or job application could benefit from some real life experiences, could all find taking a gap year to be a great option.