The Gap Year… is it for You?
What will you do after your senior year of high school? Our generation has made it especially popular and even acceptable to take a “gap year,” or a year off of school before entering college. During this period, many students take the opportunity to travel, gain life experience, and mature before beginning school once more. However, is a gap year helpful? Does it really help gain life experience? Is it for you?
Students consider gap year travel for many different reasons. First, many believe the idea of back-packing through Europe, for instance, and experiencing new cultures, tastes, and sights sounds rather exciting. Many also believe that while this experience will benefit them socially, they will also learn a lot about the world and its people. Junior Bianca Woodstock stated, “I’d support my desire for gap year travel with the reason that I would gain plenty of life experience.” Lastly, students believe that this gap year would provide them with time to figure out what they want to do with the rest of their lives and what careers they’d like to pursue. However, would a year off studies really benefit the average student?
While some people claim that after a year off school they’d have a renewed fervor to learn, it’s also very possible that laziness would set in. A year off work, for many students, would discourage their interest in school. It’s a popular belief that if you don’t go straight to college after high school, you’ll never end up going. Junior Karly Palmar stated, “I don’t think I’d want to take a gap year for traveling. I feel that if I take a break I’ll be too lazy to start up again. I’d rather finish my studies, get a career, and then make money in order to travel.”
Life experience. Travel. Career assessment. A student with the right motivation could do well with a gap year. However, if you know you’re the kind of person who lacks academic excitement, then a gap year might not be the best for you. If you still have a serious case of wanderlust, you should try a studying abroad program at your school or a summer internship with a global organization. There are many productive ways to get that “travel bug” out of your system.