The Benefits of Taking A Gap Year


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Photo courtesy of the Huffington Post.

Madeleine Katz, Photojournalist

The option of taking a gap year, a break year between high school and college, has started to become extremely popular among American students. Taking a gap year in countries such as Australia and the United Kingdom has been extremely common for a long time now and America is finally picking up on the trend. There are various reasons students may choose to take a gap year which could include be having the chance to explore the world with no worries, figuring out what they want to do in life, or just having stress free time to settle down.

After taking a gap year, students feel rejuvenated and ready to take on collage. Several schools have shown that students who take gap years collectively have higher GPAs than students who go off to college the year after they graduate high school according to the Huffington Post.

Another reason it is good for students to take a gap year is that it gives them time to think about what they want to do in life. Many college students switch their major or area of study several times throughout collage. During the year the student would have away from school, they could be thinking about what they truly want to do in life and find something they are passionate about, in which they could pursue a career.

Even though taking gap years could greatly help many students, gap years aren’t for everyone, “A gap year is a welcome break for many students but can also be frustrating to others. It may indeed be a way to recharge your battery or to explore activities near home or afar that you never had time to experience before. However, students with lofty gap-year plans have been known to end up zoned out in front of “Full House” reruns or steamed up behind a fry-o-lator at the local Mickey D’s. Thus, before deciding on a year off before college, it’s important to assess your reasons for the change and to make sure you spend your time in an engaging way that meets these aims,” stated College Confidential. They also take a year away from time you could be in the workforce.

Alhees Basharmal (9) believes that, “Gap years are a great idea because high school students work extremely hard so that they can get a good job and they need a break after all of that stress. After high school, they know what college they will be going to and they are usually close to eighteen years old which means that they can travel or take a break from stress and relax.”

Taking the time to explore the world before going to college, or just simply taking a break from school for a year can benefit students in many ways. Even Harvard University, an Ivy League school encourages their students to take gap years, as reported by the Huffington Post.