Many students choose to take a gap year before college, whether it is to get some work experience, volunteer, earn some money for their advanced education or travel the world and gain experiences that may help them during their degree. Some students are taking a gap year because they are undecided about their subject choice or career path and need some more time to ensure they are making the right long-term decisions.
While taking a gap year may be the right choice for some students, it could have negative ramifications for others. Before you take the year off it is important to carefully weigh the gap year pros and cons of your decision and the effect it may have on your college application.
Pros Of Taking A Gap Year
Taking a gap year truly offers you a wealth of advantages but only if you plan the year right. Check out how you could benefit from taking the year off before attending college:
It gives you time to think and figure out what you want
High school can be a non-stop flurry of classes, tests, and homework too. There’s barely any time to stop and think about what you really want to do. A gap year allows you to explore college majors and potential interests so you can identify your passion.
You learn responsibility at a different level
Let’s say you’ve always led a sheltered life with mom and dad always there for you. It can be difficult to suddenly take on a whole lot of responsibilities overnight. As a college student living away from home for the first time, the thought of having to manage finances as well as university stresses and dorm life can be overwhelming. Taking on a high school job during your gap year or even volunteering in another country will help you gain essential life-skills and learn responsibility on a different level.
You can submit a more impressive application
Planning on applying for an architectural program? Spending your gap year exploring different architectural cultures and using your college application essay to emphasize how your experience influenced you is sure to impress any architectural college. It’s the best way to ensure that you get into the college of your choice.
You can earn towards your education
A college education is expensive. Most students graduate with debt. If you take up a job during your gap year, you may be able to earn some money to fund your education so you can graduate with minimal debt.
Cons of Taking a Gap Year
It puts you a year behind
Taking that year off will put you further back on the educational process and also a year behind your friends.
You take the risk of losing momentum
Yes, taking a gap year can be a refreshing break from non-stop studying. However, many students find it difficult to get back into a schedule and regain their student momentum.
Gap years can be costly
Many students want to travel around and explore during their gap year. But this can be an expensive endeavor that will ultimately add to your student debt. Money spent is not money saved, after all.
Taking a gap year is not for everyone. If you are planning on going this route it is crucial to think long and hard about what you are going to do.
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