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The Benefits of Taking a Gap Year: Why You Should Consider It


Are you feeling burnt out from high school and unsure about jumping straight into college? Do you need a little more time to consider your college options or perhaps explore additional options? Maybe you should explore what a Gap Year can offer you. In this post, we’ll explore what a gap year is, what students can do while on a gap year, the benefits of taking a gap year, and the benefits and outcomes of students who take gap years.


A Break From Academics: Exploring the Benefits of Taking a Gap Year


Taking a gap year, a period of time between completing high school and starting college, has become an increasingly popular choice for students. A gap year allows students to take a break from academics, gain life experience, and explore different cultures and passions. It’s a great opportunity for students to step out of their comfort zones, gain independence, and develop important life skills. While some students may worry that taking a gap year will set them back, the benefits of a gap year far outweigh any potential drawbacks.


"Students who take a gap year have higher GPAs, are more likely to graduate in four years, and have a higher likelihood of being employed within six months of graduation." -----American Gap Association


What Do Students Do on a Gap Year?


There are many opportunities available to students who are looking to gain some life experience before going to college. Some examples include:

  • Traveling and backpacking

  • Volunteering and community service

  • Interning and working

  • Learning a new language

  • Pursuing a passion, such as music or art

  • Taking classes or earning certifications in a particular area of interest

The options are endless, and students can tailor their gap year to fit their individual needs and goals.


Benefits of Taking A Gap Year


Increased Self-Awareness & Personal Growth: Taking a gap year can be a valuable time for personal growth and self-discovery. It allows students to step outside of their comfort zones and gain new perspectives on the world.

Career Exploration: A gap year can be a great time to explore potential career paths through internships or volunteer work. This can help students gain practical experience and develop new skills.

Cultural Immersion: Students can use a gap year to travel, learn a new language, and immerse themselves in different cultures. This can be an incredibly rewarding experience that helps students gain a better understanding of the world. These students see improved cultural awareness and cross-cultural understanding when they finish.

Mental Health: High school can be a stressful time for students. Taking a gap year can provide a much-needed break and help students recharge mentally and emotionally before embarking on their college journey.


Additionally, many colleges and universities say students who have done a gap year see improved academic performance in college, improved language, problem-solving, and decision-making skills, and improved career prospects.


According to the American Gap Association, students who take a gap year have higher GPAs, are more likely to graduate in four years, and have a higher likelihood of being employed within six months of graduation.


Harvard University also reports that students who take gap years are more likely to be involved in extracurricular activities, more likely to volunteer, and more likely to study abroad.


Further, research shows that students who take a gap year report a higher level of job satisfaction, increased cultural competency, and greater resilience. They are also more likely to pursue graduate studies and have a clearer sense of their career goals.


If you are considering a gap year but plan to enroll in a school to which you have been admitted, make sure to be in touch with the admissions office to learn what the procedure is for getting your gap year approved. Many schools will let you defer your enrollment and may even let you keep any merit money that you qualified for, but it is important to follow their procedures to ensure you secure your spot and your scholarship before moving forward with your gap year plans.


Taking a gap year can be an incredibly rewarding experience for students. It’s a chance to take a break from academics, gain new experiences, and develop important life skills. So, if you’re feeling burnt out from high school and unsure about jumping straight into college, or if you want to evaluate your admissions options or look at new options, consider taking a gap year. It could be just what you need to set yourself up for success.

 

Garrett Educational Consulting provides comprehensive college and boarding school admissions consulting services as well as advisement on gap year and school year abroad programs. Contact us for more information - info@garretteducationalconsulting.com

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