Pros And Cons Of A Gap Year

Pros And Cons Of A Gap Year

June 29, 2018

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Written by Barry Sun

What is a Gap Year?

A gap year is taking a year off before you head off to college or during college. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a year, some students take a semester off, while others may even take 2 years off. 

Why should you take a Gap Year? 

Taking a gap year has been gaining popularity among students lately because it gives them time to decompress from school. Students take a gap year for a variety of reasons for example to travel, volunteer, or study abroad. Some students are unsure if college is right for them and they take a gap year to explore alternative learning experiences.  Other students take a gap year to work, gain experience, and save up money for college. Whatever the reason may be and no matter where you are in life. If you need time to do what you’re passionate about, then take a gap year. 

1. Pro

Taking a gap year can be a great way for you to recharge, gain life experiences, work, and ultimately giving you an edge over other students. You will enter college more confident and mature. Making your transition much smoother. 

2. Con

You take the risk of losing school momentum. It might be hard for you to study once you return to school. This is not the case for everyone, if you want to avoid losing this momentum, I suggest continue studying. For example learn a new language or pick up a useful skill like coding or web design. 

3. Pro

If you plan to work during your gap year, you will have the opportunity to save up money for your education. Working also allows you to explore different career paths and experience what it is like to support yourself.

4. Con 

Gap year programs can cost a lot of money. While they are good for meeting other like-minded individuals, I recommend avoiding these programs because they are basically tourist guides. If you want to travel abroad then do some research on affordable destinations, and plan ahead. To offset your travel costs, you can utilize websites like Workaway, Couchsurf, and Wwoof. 

5. Pro

If you have been living with your parents, this might be a good time for you to move out and experience life, living on your own. This will not only smooth your transition to college but you will gain responsibility and learn essential life skills.

6. Con/Pro

Once you experience the “real world”, you might never want to return back to the stress and rigor of college life. Students who choose to work may enjoy making money as opposed to spending it on tuition. This ultimately depends on who you are and what your goals in life are. If you believe that a college degree does not further you to your goal, then don’t go to college.

Things To Consider 

It is important to weigh your own set of pros and cons. Everyone who take a gap year will have a different experience. One thing for sure, is the need for a well thought out plan of what you plan to accomplish during your gap year. Don’t be afraid to ask your friends and family for advice. Although society pressures students that you need college to succeed in life. It’s okay to get the opinion of someone else. College is not a one size fits all, taking a gap year will undoubtedly help you see the bigger picture of life. 

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