The term “gap year” is usually defined based on a student’s college career plans. It denotes an experiential year wherein a high school graduate student decides to acquire a type of education other than a conventional classroom setting before finally continuing to college.
The U.S. Higher Education Research Institute showed that 1.2% of the 300,000 freshmen student participants paused and waited for one year before attending college. While this statistic may be far from the majority, the reality is that taking a gap year has gradually reached a certain level of popularity among the youth recently. It is said that the most crucial reasons why students make use of a gap year are burnout and stress. Some hope to know more about themselves and the goals they want to achieve, and this time presents the ideal opportunity to reflect and discover who they are.
What Purposes Does A Gap Year Serve?
If you’ve considered taking a gap year, you can potentially broaden your perspective on its benefits and downsides. Although a gap year may not be tailor-fit for everybody, it can work to its advantage for some people. It provides profound benefits for students to have clarity in paving their career path. You can better grasp and understand the global society and, therefore, result in a better GPA and greater leadership skills once you finally enter college. Study shows that 90% of those students who have taken a gap year have likely enrolled in a university after completing a one-year break. These students are more exposed to success in the sense of the “real world scenario,” so they work harder and are eager to acquire their goals during and after their higher education.
Why Take A Gap Year?
There is a social stigma surrounding gap years. Many think of it as a waste of time traveling and living unproductively. They would often judge students for not finishing their school and ruining their future.
The truth is, there are genuine benefits that a student can gain at the end of their travel or experience in a foreign land or a certain peculiar experience and journey. Here are some of them:
Open-mindedness and awareness of the global society
You may research some places and geography on the internet and learn from these resources, but nothing comes close to living in a foreign land that is completely out of your comfort zone! This experience eliminates borders from your limited foresight. With this impactful experience, you learn to understand different cultures, meet people from different backgrounds, and become open-minded to global society’s diversity. You neither learn nor experience these lessons in the four corners of your classroom or from browsing the web. “Experience is the ultimate teacher,” says it best.
Self-discovery and goals-setting
Don’t fall for the idea of attending college for the sole aim of earning a degree; there is certainly more to college than that! Chances are, you will drop out of your coursework and waste thousands of dollars. If you are unsure of your major, there is no need to rush. Take some time to know yourself more and find what you’re passionate about. Opting for a gap year and traveling somewhere else allows you to know your deep interests and discover your talents or skills. It is a crucial way of investing in your self-growth. A gap year will allow you to set goals based on what you want to achieve in your future career. Your exposure to different real-life situations can impact your goal setting, too! When you have real-world experiences, you become certain about what you truly want.
Find gap year programs offering diverse learning structures that combine actual work with education. Choosing a good and effective gap year program is a win-win situation for you to enjoy and gain valuable insights along the journey! The idea of a gap year goes beyond purely traveling and meeting new friends along the way. Fix your eyes on your goals without getting sidetracked by the “fun” in it!
Are you unsure of your career options? Are you still reeling from the stresses of high school? Take a year off to refresh your mind and soul. Traveling internationally can benefit you more than you have ever imagined. Just make sure you choose the right gap year program and start packing your bags. Remember to come back with a healthier mindset and a strong drive and motivation for achieving your career goals.