Considering a Gap Year?
Taking a year off after graduating high school has become more and more popular. Here are some pros and cons to help you decide if taking a gap year is for you.
Taking a year off after graduating high school has become more and more popular. Here are some pros and cons to help you decide if taking a gap year is for you:
- It gives you more time to think about what you want to do. You’re eighteen, you’re young, and you still have a lot to figure out. Asking yourself what you want to do for the rest of your life can be intimidating, and not knowing the answer is more common than you think. Sometimes it’s not a bad idea to take a year to think it over.
- Time to save money. You may want to find a job after you graduate high school and save money to pay for books and tuition, and to keep your student debt as low as possible. If you work full-time for a year, you could have significant savings (even with a minimum wage job), and a serious appreciation for what it took to earn it!
- Take a break from academics in general. For the most part, you have been going to school since you were five years old. Thirteen years of school is a lot, and it is okay to take a break from studying, tests, and group projects. Use this time to learn things beyond academics.
- Depending what you do, you can have a shinier resume. Internships, jobs, mission trips…the possibilities are endless. These experiences will help you grow as a person, as well as a potential employee.
- Forgetting to stay in touch with financial aid. Just because you got into college with scholarships and aid does not mean that money will always be there. It is important to keep in touch with your admissions counselor and financial aid advisor to see what it is that you need to do in order to keep the help you received. Make sure you keep up with those dates and if you need to reapply just to hold your spot, do it.
- Getting used to being lazy. It is okay to do every now and then, but don’t get so comfortable on the couch or wrapped in your burrito blanket that you forget about your potential! You can do so much more than stay home and watch television.
- Missing those who went on. You’re the only one who did not go off to school, and it is Lonely City. Not only will you miss your friends, but you will have to watch them make new friends. You feel you’re being replaced, even though that is not what your friends are intentionally doing. Make sure you are willing to make new friends!
- A gap turning into gaps. Don’t get so consumed in having the time off that your one year becomes two, which later turns into five (or ten!). Make an end goal and actually follow it. If you want to make a certain amount of money over the year to take a huge trip before you leave for school, do it. If you want to save that money, travel or do community service, do it. But do not forget that your end goal is to start your freshman year of college a year later.
Once your gap year is up, know your plan and get excited. The goal of your gap year should be to learn, explore, and grow. Maybe you’ll find out what you originally wanted to do isn’t what you want anymore. Hopefully you’ll feel rejuvenated and willing to take on anything college has to throw your way!