How to Benefit from a Gap Year without Losing Momentum

Julissa Duran, Staff Reporter


From the time you start kindergarten up until your graduation and even after, students are all told the same thing: “go to college.” This phrase gets recycled constantly. It’s tiring, repetitive, and puts a heavy weight on students’ shoulders.


Most students tend to view themselves as collegebound. While it is promising when young, it can become a burden as you get older. This is where gap years come in for those who may not know what to do, or are burnt out from the years spent preparing themselves for their next stage in life. Many Americans often make comments in their later years about regretting their major. A recent report done by The Washington Post and Federal Report says almost 40% of college graduate students regret the major they chose. Colleges have also reported that students who took a gap year are more likely to do well in their studies compared to those who went straight to college without taking a break. “Fundamentally, I hope families don’t think of a Gap experience as an alternative to college but one that better prepares (certain) students for the university experience,” Greg Zaiser, vice president of enrollment at Elon University, told U.S. news. 


A gap year can be used for more than taking a break from studies. During a gap year a person can use the time to explore a passion, work on personal growth, save money, etc. Obviously not every student wants or needs to take a gap year, but the idea shouldn’t be 

frowned upon either. 


In addition, gap years aren’t exclusively used for travel and finding oneself. Oftentimes they play a prominent role in helping students settle themselves and situations before jumping straight into college. For example, some students of lower socioeconomic backgrounds don’t have the resources to pursue college straight out of high school.They have to take their financial and living situation as well as their support system into account. It’s not uncommon to find someone trying to navigate adulthood with little to no help from a parent and/or guardian. These students now have to decide what is best for them, and sometimes this means having to put college on hold till they have comfortably transitioned into adulthood. 


Students should not feel pressured to immediately make the transition to college if it is not viable. High schoolers need to be educated on all of their options including the gap year. The route to college is not one size fits all. Therefore, gap years should not be frowned upon.

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