In the career or professional industry, a gap year is a time when one takes a pause on their formal work life to pursue a different interest, usually unrelated to their regular line of work. However, in today’s world, a gap year is viewed mostly as a year off taken by high school graduates before entering college.
During this gap year, most students become involved in different activities that they themselves choose for the purpose of improving themselves – their knowledge, maturity, leadership, decision-making skills, independence, and self-sufficiency.
When students decide to take a timeout before going back to school, to college, they generally engage themselves in advance or extra academic courses and/or non-academic courses.
Non-academic courses that students can take include:
- Language studies
- Art studies
- Learning a trade
- Volunteer work
How can a gap year help? Taking a year off can be a great help to high school grads. By travelling, or engaging in volunteer work overseas or undertaking a working holiday abroad, students can gain much more than they could imagine.
Here’s a view of the things high school students can benefit when taking a time off before enrolling in college.
- They can have a life-changing experience that will help them steer to a clearer direction before moving on to college.
- The gap year can be a useful time for every student to gain insight on what they want in their lives, and what they can contribute to the society. They will be able to envision what path they will take, what career or profession they desire to excel in.
- It can be a period where the teens can evaluate themselves and know their potential and their skills.
- During the gap year, students can work full time and save up for their tuition and other college fees.
Students who decide to take a year off become more enthusiastic, hardworking, goal-oriented, and motivated when they enter college. The experiences, wisdom, and inspiration they gained from that time off will be a stepping stone to excel in their chosen field as they make that big commitment.
But despite the fact that the number of high school graduates taking a break from academic study is increasing, it was found out that taking a year off can be expensive. Structured programs that are established to help students become productive during their year off are quite costly. For those students who are not well-off may not consider taking a gap year.
With those gap year programs having high price tags and with the limited scholarship offers, it would be difficult for those teens to enjoy the benefits of taking a gap year.
Society should have a good view of the gap year in high school and the benefits it brings so that they will take action to support it and make it easier for students. Because to have a time off to “recharge” after years of daily academic grind and to think about their academic direction and professional goals is undeniably helpful and useful to make the high school graduates become enthusiastic and dedicated workers in the future.