It often feels like there’s a huge pressure for just-graduated high school seniors to rush right off to college to immediately continue the next phase of their educational life. However, after twelve years of education, the desire to drop tons of money just for four more years of school might sound truly dreadful.
However, more recently, gap years — a year off between high school and starting college — have become increasingly more prevalent and may even be healthier in the long run for students about to begin four years of higher education.
Here are a few reasons to consider taking a gap year.
IT CAN GIVE YOU A BREAK
Twelve years of school (in a row) is a lot! High school especially can be draining both physically and mentally, and there’s no shame in recognizing that maybe college isn’t the right place for you right now. A year off can give you time to rest, recuperate, and prepare for the next phase of your lfie.
IT CAN GIVE YOU A CHANCE TO EARN SOME MONEY
This might be a shocker, but college is expensive. Sometimes it just isn’t economically feasible to jump right into something that might cost you many thousands of dollars. Scholarships and financial aid are great, but if taking a year off to work and earn some money is the best way to ensure you’ll have a healthier and happier college environment, that might be the way to go.
IT CAN GIVE YOU OPPORTUNITIES TO TRAVEL
This, of course, depends on money and funds — you definitely shouldn’t take a gap year just to go into debt. However, some schools actually offer gap years where you get the opportunity to defer your acceptance and travel in the school’s name. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has a prestigious Global Gap Year fellowship that allows the student to travel anywhere they want with a stipend given to them by the school.
IT CAN GIVE YOU SOME BREATHING ROOM
It can be tricky to learn who you are, what you love, and what you want to do for the rest of your life when you’re surrounded by four walls and mandated rules by an education system. Taking a gap year means that, at least on some level, you have a chance to focus on you. Maybe you learn that college in general just isn’t for you. That’s okay. Maybe you learn that all that free time makes you antsy, and you can’t wait to get back into the classroom. That’s also fine! It might be beneficial to take a year and figure out what it is you want before you jump right back into a rigorous academic setting.
With Hey! VINA, you can find vinas all over the globe, traveling on a gap year or not!