Continuing Education and the Gap Year

Benefits and Advantages of the Gap Year

Not all students that graduate high school are ready to jump right into life as a college or university student. They may wonder if there any alternatives to going right to an institution of higher education. One possibility is pursuing a gap year, and there are several advantages and benefits to doing so.

What is the Gap Year?

A gap year refers to a European practice of taking a year off after high school before pursuing a college education. During this time, the student takes time to travel and pursue their interests. After the gap year has ended, the student will begin their college studies. This practice is more common in European countries than in the United States, where typically most college students begin school the semester after they graduate high school.

Advantages of a Gap Year

A gap year can give students time to explore their interests before pursuing their college education, and this can help them to decide what their real passion is. This can be extremely helpful in choosing a major. Students may then avoid unnecessary time in college to change their major, and they can be more certain of their career path before they even start school. Students gain real world knowledge in subjects that can help them in the classroom, and this is sometimes even more beneficial than text book learning. Students may learn things that they had never considered before and change the way they look at the world. This new perspective and experience may also help students to find a job after they graduate from school, as they will already have a deeply rooted passion for what they are going to do.

Benefits of a Gap Year

The gap year will provide students with a great appreciation for a college education , and students may gain a more adult perspective of the world. Students that see other individuals that do not have the luxury of attending college may allow them to be appreciate the opportunity more. Students can also work during this time to help pay for and offset the rising cost of college when they begin. Additionally, pursuing a gap year may cause students to take their education more seriously. They do not have newfound freedom that they may risk abusing, which is the case with traditional freshmen students that begin college right after graduating high school.

Resources for Gap Year Information

Individuals that want more information on the gap year tradition can check out the National Association for College Admission Counseling. Programs like the Peace Corp ant the Center for Interim Programs may allow for students to join programs that will prevent them from traveling alone, if that is a concern of family members.

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