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Do You Want To Take A Gap Year? Here’s Why That’s A-OK!

“A gap year?” – Puzzled Parents


No, a gap year does not mean you spend the majority of your time hanging out shopping at The Gap in the mall closest to your home. Rather, a gap year most commonly refers to taking a year off from school in between high school graduation and the start of college. While many seniors are preparing to go straight into college as a freshman next fall, let’s take a quick look at some of the reasons why some students opt for a different path.


You need a break

Assuming you began your early education in kindergarten, that’s 13 straight years in school. Some may find it a tad overwhelming to jump head first into the deep end on their way to 17 without taking some time to themselves. Remember, just because your friends are touring campuses and filling out roommate forms doesn’t mean that’s right for you.


You didn’t get into your top choice college

Allow me to spare you what I’m sure is an immediate concern: You are NOT the only one in this position. While it can be disappointing to miss out on your preferred program or school, don’t take it personally. There are many factors that go into the decision-making progress, and the reality is there is only so much space available on a college campus and in the dorms.


You want to experience a job

Working in between high school and college is a great way to not only earn money, but also to achieve independence, to learn responsibility, and to collaborate with others in a real-world professional environment. You may also be looking for work in your preferred field for the first time, which can demonstrate your interest in your major choice when you decide to apply for college again.


There are a number of other reasons why students decide to give themselves a semester or a full year off as well, including the desire to travel, the opportunity to take community college classes, the chance to build a resume away from school, and the time to meet new friends or spend more time with family. In some instances, 17 and 18-year-olds simply need the time and space to mature, assess what they want, and make sure they are actually ready to go off to college and succeed on their own, both academically and socially.


Remember, above all else, you need to do what is right for you. Giving yourself the freedom to think and the opportunity to learn new skills can make you not only a stronger applicant when the time comes, but this can also provide you with increased confidence, the feeling that you can accomplish anything.


All the best,

Team Insight

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