Take a Break with a Gap Year

Need a break from education or want to gain a new experience? Delaying college could be an option for some recent graduates.

Jennifer Rodriguez, Staff Reporter

Each student must choose wheter to following the traditional route to college or exploring their options. Photo courtesy of www.theodysseyonline.com

Planning on what to do after completing your high school experience can be difficult. Some go the traditional route and attend college right after graduating high school while others take a break, or time off, after high school.

Taking a break seems a bit odd to some, but according to time.com it is actually growing in popularity, as more students are taking part in a gap year after high school.

A break from education can offer former students a time to “recharge their battery” and relax after being stuck in a classroom for 14 years (including pre-kindergarten). It also gives a student the opportunity to travel and a experience and even maturity. These experiences are a good thing to add to any future college applications.

There are different organizations that are for students specifically seeking a gap year and offer programs of travel and other activities. Interim Programs offers gap year counseling and Dynamy Internship is a traveling program which offers education from the real world. Seamaster is a hands on traveling voyage program that students can choose from.

Taking time off can also give young adults time to really think about the direction they want their life to go. Life changes, and some young adults will change their mind and decide they do not want to go down the path they originally wanted to take or that was dictated to them. They may ultimatley decide to enter a different career field or choose a different major.

Although, there can be pros like taking the time for a new experience or to save money through working, there are also cons that follow.

Students who delay school will start classes later than their peers who went straight to school, and they can miss out on sharing the same experiences with them.

Also, taking a year off does not mean that your financial student aid does too. Remember that you need to reapply when on your gap year. Also, make sure to confirm with your institution if you’ve already been accepted because not every institution accepts a defer in enrollment. The American Gap Association has a list of deferral policies for some institutions.

Parents who plan their children’s life from crib to college have a hard time accepting their child’s decision on taking time off. Some parents may think that once their child has a hold of what life is really like outside of school, they will not want to return to the classroom, but this can be a rare case. Students are more likely to be eager in their return to their studies after their elective time away from the classroom.

So before jumping into the decision of going to college, decide first what truly interest you. Taking time off is not always meant for everyone. It is always up to a person’s situation and goals.