Is It Worth Taking a Gap Year Before College? Pros and Cons

taking a gap year
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The gap year is a highly controversial possibility for high school graduates. On the one hand, you can grow up spiritually, getting to figure out yourself a bit more. On the other, you’re losing precious time by setting your career development away. We’ll help you understand if putting off education is for you by dissecting its pluses and minuses.

The Advantages

The main pros are the following:

• Freedom to explore life opportunities.
• Time to relax from studying.
• A chance for soul-searching.
• Reflection on your previous actions.
• Adult-like living experience.

It’s an opportunity to travel, take part in social programs and make new acquaintances. And, by the way, it is believed that it is the English tradition, according to which young gentlemen made sure to travel abroad to broaden their horizons and establish business contacts, that underlies the concept of such a break.

The extra time allows the graduate to learn to live independently, develop responsibility, acquire the habit of setting and creating objectives and reaching them on their own. This is an opportunity to face the first real difficulties, learn how to cope with them, become an adult, and understand how much time is and why it should be appreciated.

This is a chance to catch your breath after the race of the last school year and the Unified State Exam. There is time to stop and calmly think about what you want to do, adjust your goals and approaches to achieving them, listen to yourself, try different activities and find out what your heart is about.

While studying at school, there are few opportunities to “test drive” the chosen profession and understand what it is. This break allows you to “take a sample” from the specialty, getting a job in a specialized company. Dreaming of a career as a lawyer? Look for a secretary or courier job at a law office. Thinking about working in the environmental field? Try volunteering yourself.

It also happens that a graduate has already chosen a profession, but he did not have enough knowledge and skills to enter the work field immediately. In creative professions, for example, this kind of thing happens all the time. In this case, the studying break allows you to complete preparatory courses at the chosen university, study with a tutor in creative disciplines, and improve a foreign language.

The Disadvantages

The main cons are the following:

• Postponing your career.
• Losing time later on.
• The break might not give you anything.

Sometimes, after the break, people give up the idea of ​​going to university and getting higher education for a long time. And if in the future it is still needed, it will require much more strength. Student life with exams, lectures, and colloquia at 18 and 25 are completely different things.

Entering a university right after school is considered logical. This is the traditional approach, the violation of which is still perceived rather negatively. Of course, the gap year can be noted in the applicant’s resume and increase its value when entering the university; however, that’s not a guarantee. The skills received this year may or may not mean anything to the applications committee.

You need to prepare for the studying break no less seriously than for admission – psychologically and financially. Parental support will be required because there are no special programs for “gappies” that allow you to spend this year with benefits and with minimal costs. There are no special student loans either.

According to a sociological survey, among the reasons why learners are afraid to put education off, 24% of respondents named financial issues, and 9% – “the risk of marrying and missing out on college.” Furthermore, the chances of being able to enter the university after the break are significantly reduced.

So, What to Do?

Considering the advantages this break gives you, if you were to take it, you’d have to make the most of it! All the learning how to live independently, progressing responsibility, and so on will have to find a place in the motivational letter to the university.

This is one of the most important documents that will present you in a favorable light, so you might want to consider using college essay editing too! Admissions committees of many universities are more interested in your portfolio and motivation than only in your grades. Applicants with a Gap Year on their resume can have greater chances for university admission.

You must spend the break as productively as possible because if you steel on putting education off and staying at home, it is better to go to any university or work from the start. Why? Because the admissions committee will see that you just like to relax and are not that motivated to do anything.

Options While on the Studying Break

If you’ve decided on putting your education off a bit, then you definitely have a wide of routes to follow. You have the following options after graduating high school that will boost your motivational letter:

• Starting to take care of yourself on your own.
• Undergoing a foundational university program.
• Helping out communities.
• Entering the work field.
• Traveling the world.

Starting to Take Care of Yourself on Your Own

Wondering how to spend money correctly, what to eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, how to treat your cold, and finally, how a washing machine operates? All this seems very simple, but in reality, it will take a lot of trouble until that very time, until you turn into a complete adult and independent person.

We advise you to take care of these skills in advance, which you will definitely need when you leave your home. This will help you feel more confident when you can no longer count on anyone.

Undergoing a Foundational University Program

After finishing school, many young learners intend to enroll in prestigious US universities. But postponing admission, you can go to a Foundation program at European colleges and universities. Firstly, international background in a motivation letter and a Foundation certificate will increase the chances of admission to a top university.

Secondly, learn to overcome difficulties because learning in a foreign language, new terminology, unusual tasks, and new specialized subjects cause difficulties and anxiety. And finally, thirdly, if you do not have good enough marks in the educational certificate, then showing good results in the Foundation course, you can increase your chances of enrolling in a university.

Volunteering and Helping Communities

Another way to spend time with benefit, grow up and learn something new is to become a volunteer abroad. This is a budget option to travel and a great way to combine business with pleasure: you can help those in need and see the world.

Volunteers leave for third world countries and provide assistance to residents of Africa, Peru, Nepal: they teach children English, participate in the construction of schools, work in hospitals and schools, help animals together with the World Wildlife Fund.

New experiences will help you gain self-confidence and learn which tasks you can perform especially well. For example, if you need to prepare a charity event, you will learn how to plan, draw up a budget, think over all the little things, and distribute areas of responsibility.

Entering the Work Field

A great way to spend the break is to get employed. This is a chance to acquire new proficiencies in a future profession, learn how to collaborate with a new team, and earn money. This work experience will give you an idea of ​​whether this field of activity is really to your liking.

Although it is difficult for yesterday’s students to find a job, it can be done with some effort. All students who worked before entering the university note that the work helped them grow up and learn to value time.

Experiencing the World by

Some people take this time to go on a journey exploring various states, peoples, and themselves. It all relies on your capabilities, both financial and physical. Still, it’s something that admissions college officers love to read about. If you can, go travel and connect it to your personal growth in the motivational letter.

To Sum Up

Like anything in life, taking a gap year has its pros and cons. In the end, it depends on your ultimate goals whether to take a year out of your academic path.

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Naomi Kizhner

Naomi Kizhner

On NaomiKizhner.com, I want to share tips, tricks, and quotes that will hopefully inspire someone who might be struggling. Also, I wish to help others find their true passion in life and cut out any negativity.
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