A gap year, generally known as the period of time “taken off” between finishing high school and starting college, does not mean you are bumming around and avoiding college. On the contrary, gap year participants are using their time wisely, exploring the world with the goal of reaching their full potential! Here is why taking a gap year will be the best decision you’ve ever made!
- You’ll be more prepared for college: A gap year allows you to fall in love again with learning. High school seniors often feel burned out and unfocused when entering college. Believe it or not, you have been confined to an academic classroom setting for 14 years! That being said, there is nothing wrong with taking time off from the academic groove and recharging in order to start college on a high note. In fact, many colleges report that students who take gap years, are more involved on campus as well as have higher grade point averages.
- You’ll realize what you love and are passionate about before studying: Before making the very important decision of what you are going to dedicate the rest of your life to, gain hands-on, real-life experience to help you out! A majority of college students change majors at least once during their 4 years. In order to avoid wasting your time and money, a gap year will allow you time to find your purpose and evolve from the very beginning. What better way to do that than traveling?
- You’ll be challenged: By traveling, you will experience and encounter real life situations that are not taught in school. A gap year will give you time to explore and grow as an individual. It will allow you to gain self-confidence, awareness and appreciation while being exposed to countries, cultures, people, and routines that may be different than your own. Being outside of your comfort zone and regular support network of friends and family, you will be responsible for your own decisions and actions. This will propel you to gain independence and maturity throughout the process- a quality that will stick with you in the future.
- You’ll make new friends: Taking a gap year is about as social as it gets. Whether you are teaching English, interning or volunteering abroad you are guaranteed to meet other people with the same mindset. This is a time to put yourself out there, start with a blank slate, and, of course, share unforgettable memories that make for unique and everlasting friendships. What’s more awesome than having friends to visit all over the world- imagine staying at your friend’s apartment in Buenos Aires, or in Australia for spring break!
- You’ll add value to your resume: Gap year experiences will help you stand out amongst your peers both on your university application as well as in future employment. Be it volunteering in after school programs, interning at a hospital, or teaching English as a foreign language, employers value cross-cultural communication skills and the ability to adapt to new places.
- You’ll enjoy yourself: Isn’t that what life is all about?
Taking a gap year is a worthwhile experience that will impact you forever. For ideas and program options for your gap year, check out our internships, volunteering, teaching English, and learning Spanish opportunities!
You may also want to check out this great Ted Talk regarding Gap Years: http://tedxtalks.ted.com/video/The-Most-Uninformed-Decision-Yo