Pros And Cons Of Taking A Gap Year Before College

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.

"Mind the Gap" printed on the ground.

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:

Plus iconIt 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.

Plus iconYou 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.

Plus iconYou 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.

Plus iconYou 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

Minus iconIt 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.

Minus iconYou 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.

Minus iconGap 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.

Should You Take a Gap Year?

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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