Is taking a Gap Year Better for Students?


Here are a few benefits that a gap year will for provide students; Photo courtesy of Winterline

Priscilla Kim, Photojournalist

For many seniors at YLHS, college application season is approaching, but some students may wonder if attending college straight out of high school is the appropriate decision for them. This opens the door for students to think about taking a gap year to spend time on themselves, figure out what they want to do, study abroad, or focus their time gaining work experience. Nonetheless, the time one spends during their gap year can be very beneficial and money-saving in the long run. 

Despite what some might say, taking a gap year after high school can be extremely helpful because it “will give you a better sense of self.” A gap year would allow a student to spend time thinking about exactly what they want to do and give them the opportunity to mature and become independent. Furthermore, if a student goes into college unsure of what their end-goal is, it can be a difficult process that is inefficient and a waste of money. In fact, “many colleges report that students who take gap years are more involved on campus and have a higher GPA” (Global Citizen Year). 

Another benefit to taking a gap year is that it permits one to boost their resume. Taking a gap year can make one stand out from other applicants based on what they choose to do during said year. For instance, if one chooses to study abroad and learn another language it will set them apart from other students applying to college because it shows confidence and motivation. It will also be a great topic to talk about during interviews, as one can explain what they learned from it and why it was the right decision for them. 

Moreover, no matter what one chooses to do during their gap year, students are bound to meet new people and expand their social network. Whether one focuses their time gaining work skills at a local shop, warehouse, internship, etc. or travels to a new country, they are guaranteed to form new relationships and connections with other people. 

Of course, there is some fear that when taking a gap year, one will “fall behind.” However, taking a gap year will allow students to re-energize themselves and really think about what they want to study, instead of jumping straight into after graduating high school. In addition, “more and more colleges are encouraging – and in some cases requiring – taking a gap year” (Value Colleges). The growing list includes colleges such as Harvard, Princeton, MIT, Yale, and more. 

Former YLHS student, Abigail Kim, was in great support of “taking a gap year [as it] is so beneficial.” For Kim,  the year”helped [her] grow as a person and really think about the career path [she] wanted to take. At first [she] felt like [she] was falling behind, but now [she] looks back and thank [herself] for taking time off before making a big [decision] for [her] education and career.” Ultimately, gap years are gaining more and more popularity as they are deemed quite advantageous in the long run.