Everything a Student Needs to Know About the Gap Year
A student has the option of choosing to take a gap year either after high school or college. A gap year is defined by Merriam-Webster as a “one-year hiatus from academic studies to allow for nonacademic activities.
Many students choose to take this gap year after high school. Many choose to take it as a relaxation period or a chance to really discover what they want in life. They travel to foreign places and make new experiences for themselves before they start either college or work.
According to The New York Times, there are programs that will assist students interested in taking a gap year. AmeriCorps’ City Year program will pay students to teach during their year off. Another program called Global Citizen Year provides students with financial aid — more than $6 million since 2010 — if students pursue experiential learning.
Some universities have even started assisting students that have decided to take a gap year. Florida State University announced last year they would start offering scholarships to gap-year students.
And it isn’t just graduating high schoolers taking gap years. Students graduating college have begun to take a year off from their job search in their field.
Forbes published a survey conducted by SurveyMonkey for Hostelworld — a hostel booking platform. The results found that about 26 percent took a gap year and of those 26 percent, 58 participants took their gap year after college while in their 20’s and 30’s.
Of course, with any big decision, there are the pros and the cons. Here are just a few pros of taking a gap year.
-A gap year lets students take the time off and refresh or recharge.
-It gives students time to think about where they want to go professionally before starting something blindly.
-It gives students the chance to gain some real-world work experience which can really build up a resume.
-It is a chance to see the world if you choose to take this time to travel.
-If students use this time to work, they can save up for their tuition and other expenses for college or the real world.
-Students run the risk of losing everything they learned in school.
-Students can actually lose resources like counselors, scholarships and peer support if they choose to take a gap year.
-Traveling can be a big financial toll on students who choose the gap year over continuing their education or getting straight into the job force.
-Waiting to submit your resume to prospective employers can result in them not seeing your resume or not seeing you as aggressive enough.
-Seeing your friends graduate and start their lives sooner than you can make you feel defeated.
When it comes to the gap year, there are a lot of decisions that need to be made. Make sure to take the necessary time to plan and really weigh out the good and the bad so you can make the correct decision for you.