Taking a Gap Year After High School Can Be Beneficial


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Brianna Garcia-Andrade, Writer

Have you ever felt like life was moving so fast that it leaves you struggling to keep up? Everyone has had moments where they’ve thought about where the time could have possibly gone. As kids, we pray for the day that we grow up and have some sort of freedom and knowledge, but when we do grow up, we find ourselves wishing to go back in time and appreciate our childhood. Now, we find ourselves in high school, some in their senior year of high school, which is ultimately their last year before adulthood. How much harm could a year off to figure ourselves out before beginning a new chapter of our lives do?

Most people, usually adults, assume that taking a gap year means that the student doesn’t plan on going to college or continuing their education. When a student brings up the idea of taking a year off before college, adults tend to shut the idea down saying that “that always ends in people never continuing their education” or “why would you throw away a whole year by doing nothing to move forward in life?” That isn’t always the case. Taking a gap year after high school can give a student time to get themselves together and think about what they want to do with the rest of their life. To some it might seem like taking a gap year means closing doors of opportunity for yourself, but it tends to do the opposite. Taking a year off opens so many new doors for people, not only concerning their education but also regarding other aspects of their life. 

Now, everyone has probably heard the phrase “those four years of high school will go by faster than you think,” and it’s true. High school goes by so fast that towards the end of it, we find ourselves wanting to go back to our freshman year when all we had to worry about was memorizing where all of our classes were. Once you get to your senior year, you are expected to know exactly what you want to do and where you’re going to be in the next five years. That’s a lot of pressure, especially considering that the majority of the time, students don’t know exactly what they want to study in college. Taking that year off after high school gives them the liberty to go out and find out what they’re passionate about. This is a way for them to try new things at their own pace, and when they feel like they know what they want to end up doing, they can go to college and major in it.

We don’t know or understand everyone’s situation, meaning that everyone is going to have their reasons for not jumping right into college after high school. Some students might not even have a choice. Not everyone can afford to pay for tuition, and not everyone is fortunate enough to get a scholarship provided for them. A gap year after high school allows students to take some time and focus on working and making more money to pay for their tuition. Some people may want to take that year off to make sure that all of their other priorities are straight. Whatever the reason may be, that gap year gives them the time they need to make sure all of their other priorities and needs are met before moving forward and going to college.

School has a way of taking a mental toll on students. It’s a little terrifying when you think about having gone through four years of high school, only to be met with a possibility of four to six more years, depending on what you want to study in college. It would be nice to take a break between high school and college to give yourself time to improve your mental health. Students would get the chance to relax and not stress out about their education or where they are headed in life. You can do whatever you want with that time, so do it while you still have the chance. Even then, you might end up realizing that what you want to do with your life doesn’t revolve around going to college. Not going to college is okay because it doesn’t have to fit into everyone’s life. It would be better to realize that while taking a gap year rather than a semester into college.

In conclusion, taking a gap year after high school opens multiple doors of possibilities for a student. Gap years don’t have to result in never continuing your education. They can help you figure out your goals, your passions, your dislikes, and they can help you better yourself. They are what you decide to make out of them, so if you’re considering taking a gap year, make sure you make it count.