Tests. Papers. Research. Studying. Textbooks. Projects. Day after day, month after month. For 12 straight years, you’ve been going to school. Then, senior year ends! Finally, you’re finished. You’ve earned your diploma. And you might be thinking that you’re ready to take a break. Applying to college and figuring out your plans for a future can feel like a full-time job. And you may be wondering if it’s time to just relax and stop focusing on school for a little while.
More and more U.S. students are finding that they want to take some time after graduation for themselves, before heading off to college. This is called a gap year.
What is a gap year? Everything you need to know
While a gap year may sound interesting and exciting, it may not be the best option for every student. It’s important to research and understand what a gap year is, and weigh the pros and cons carefully before deciding if it’s the right option for you and your future. Many students worry that taking a gap year will inhibit their education, and it actually can delay and cause issues for your educational future. But you may be able to strike a balance. As online schools gain in popularity, students are able to continue their education while following other unique paths. WGU helps students who want to take a gap year be able to follow that path, while still being able to pursue their education.
What is a gap year?
A gap year is the term for when students take time off between high school and college. Though it’s typically called a gap year, some students take more or less time off in between high school and college. Some students just take a semester before starting college, while others take a couple of years before starting their higher education journey. A gap year can be planned and on purpose-students may want to travel or do internships-or it can be unplanned, if a student has an unexpected health issue or family emergency they need to deal with that makes them unable to attend college right away. Some gap years will involve religious, volunteer, or military service while others involve a job or internship. Some students will spend time traveling to learn a language or work in a foreign country, while other students may opt to stay at home and work to earn money during their gap year.
Students who take a gap year are not usually considered non-traditional students. Non-traditional students are usually over age 24, and may work full-time while also attending school. Gap year students would just take a few months or a year or two between their high school and college education, and wouldn’t be pushed into a non-traditional student bracket.
Now that you understand what a gap year is, it’s important to really decide if taking a gap year is a good idea for you. There are many benefits of a gap year for students, including:
- Some colleges encourage it. For example, Harvard encourages students to take a gap year to experience new things and boost their confidence before attending college. Some schools find that students who take a gap year can enrich their campus and will have an enhanced college experience.
- More accepted by colleges now. More colleges than ever are accepting https://hookupdate.net/de/lumen-app-review/ of gap years. However, most colleges do encourage students to apply for college right after high school and then defer their enrollment rather than waiting for after their gap year to apply.
- Resume booster. A gap year can help boost your resume by showing you’ve had important volunteer or leadership experiences. This can be a great element on your resume as you go back to college and apply for jobs in the future. And some gap year programs can connect you to meaningful employment down the road.