Is a gap year right for you?

Emily Aiken ’20 and Abigail Tobis ’20, Managing Editors

You finally made it. You are out of high school, and you are now an adult. You can make your own decisions. You are expected to follow the mainstream and go to college. There are many expectations put on a senior revolving around the need to go to college to be successful. But, what if you are not prepared and are not yet decided on what you want to do or where you want to go? Many students, as they graduate, face this problem and do not know where to go, but they have something called a gap year: students take a year off and figure out what they want to do for themselves and then go to college.

Choosing the route of doing a gap year could be the best option for a specific kind of student. The gap year allows a person to really find themselves and figure out what they want to do with their lives before going to college. When you go to college, you are paying a large amount of money in order to get a degree in doing that one thing you dreamt of doing when you declared your major at 18 years old . According to the HuffPost, “You’ll cut down on coursework, tuition bills and stress if you take time before college to decide how you want to spend your academic experience before you get there.” With the gap year, you are able to take a step back and find out for yourself what you want to do with the rest of your life, instead of just deciding something because you think you have to and then pay all that money to find out you really do not like what you decided. Spanish teacher Mrs. Dana Weston said, “It can be a good opportunity for traveling but it depends on the individual.”  You might be able to go to another country and learn a new language, find a new passion, gain work experience, make new friendships and so much more. You are also able to add more things to your application by taking this gap year. You able to do more things such as learning a new language or meeting new people that may have connections. These are the things that colleges look at and this can broaden your chance of getting accepted.


When it comes to a gap year, it is important to consider whether it is the right choice for you. What would a gap year do for you? What would you do during that time before committing to a college? If you do not have a set plan for your gap year, then you may just end up wasting your time. Would taking a year off from your studies ultimately benefit you? It may, but the cost could potentially outweigh the benefits. You may decide to travel during this time, which, while it will give you experience, it will also cost money, money you could be using towards your education.You could also lose your momentum. Weston said, “You may not want to go back to school after a year off,” After gaining experience in the real world, you may not want to go back to the stressful life of academics. For those who use their year to work may enjoy making money as opposed to spending it on tuition, although tuition is an investment for your future. When you partake in a gap year, you could lose sight of that

College is a big decision for one to make, so the big question is if the gap year can help a student or not. The gap year may or may not be beneficial to you, but that is for you to decide. Take a break and find out who you are, discover new possibilities, but the path you take to do that is up to you.

Photo courtesy of Mandl School

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