Why a Gap Year can be helpful for many students

Darell Nguele

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As a senior, people talk about college and scholarships all of the time, but no one is talking about the option of taking a gap year. A gap year is a period of time that a student may take before attending college if they choose to go. Students taking a gap year can use their time anyway they like but most students use their time working,intern,or study abroad. This is a great period for students who want to take a break from school to do what they need. I believe that students graduating high school should have more information to take a gap year if they please.

This is a very controversial topic. Many students take a gap year for a number of reasons. Some are just academically burnt out and need a break. Some are unsure of which direction or career path they want to pursue. Others want to travel, study abroad, volunteer and do things they may not necessarily have time for later in life lastly others take a year off to work and save up money in order to afford college.

According to the Gap Year Association an organization that advocates for gap years, “Studies shows that 90% of students who took a gap year returned to college within a year.” This shows that over half of the students that take a gap year return back to school and are not just wasting their time as the other side of the argument may say.

As a senior in high school I get two questions all the time “Where are you going to college? What are you majoring in?” To some of my friends, these questions are sources of stress they don’t know where they want to go or what they want to major in. The answer can just be taking a gap year.

Gap years allow for students to, through travel and experience, figure out what they want to major in. Once they have that figured out, they are able to go to college pursuing a degree that they are sure about not one they are likely to change the next month.

Many worry of the cost of gap years however, parents must understand that if their children change their majors a lot, they are not likely to finish in four years. In the long run, figuring out a sure major will save money, as tuition for an extra year or two of college isn’t cheap, especially with student loans and interest.

Also, many parents worry about admittance to college after a gap year. But, students can apply for college and then defer admittance until the next year. In addition, schools are increasingly offering more scholarships.

Just like any topic their are cons,a gap year can also have some downfalls. People that oppose the gap year may  fear that once students leaves the educational setting and get a taste of the real world they won’t want to go back to the stress and structure of  academic life. Also students who work, may start to enjoy making money instead of spending it on tuition.

According to theleap.co, “20% of parents decide to fund their child’s gap year.” However,  less than half of students parents don’t fund their children’s gap year students should have a plan in advance if they know they are going to be taking a year off. This also shows that many parents do not agree with their children taking a gap year and that their child should know what they are doing.

In Conclusion students should be allowed to take a gap year if they feel like college is not a next step for them and schools should have more opportunities for students who decide to take on a gap year.

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Why a Gap Year can be helpful for many students