A gap year is the time taken between the end of high school and starting college when students can learn about themselves and become better prepared for entering higher education. There are a number of reasons why taking this time can be a good idea, as it does present students with advantages to their academic and personal growth. Let’s take an in-depth look at how taking a year off before college can benefit students.
Whether you decide to take this time off to travel, work or dedicate yourself to a particular interest, it’s likely that you will gain a new perspective on life. This enhanced view will allow you to see the big picture when it comes to the things that are most important in life. Because you will be exposed to other people from different backgrounds, you will look at the world differently than your peers who who straight from high school to college. These students will tend to see their entire world as those around them, while you will know that a broader life exists outside your campus or group of friends. This understanding will allow you to take small disappointments in stride.
It’s actually more likely that you will get better grades and become more involved in college activities after taking a gap year. This time out of school teaches you a great deal of responsibility. You learn to make decisions on your own and obtain real world practice that students going from one form of school to another simply don’t have. Your maturity is bound to pay off when it comes to your overall college performance and adjustment.
Whatever your experience is during your time off, it likely will be different than your high school years in which you were sheltered and always knew what to expect. Getting accustomed to new experiences during your year off will be a huge help when it comes to adjusting to college life. You probably will already have the experience of meeting new people, learning different rules and acclimating to unfamiliar environments. Adapting to college life will be a breeze for you.
Most young people enter college having no idea what they want to do with the rest of their life. That’s absolutely okay. College is a time for learning about yourself and growing, along with gaining academic and vocational skills. However, many students drift from one major to the next without a plan, which can lead to taking a number of classes that may not count toward graduation. Taking a year to experience a different way of life can provide you with a clearer vision of the kind of work you might or might not enjoy. This knowledge can save you a great deal of money and time.
These are a few reasons to consider traveling, working or doing community service before heading straight off to college. A gap year can be one of the most beneficial life experiences you’ll have.