Taking a gap year before college may seem like a scary thing to do if most of your friends are off and away at different universities. However, taking a gap year can be very beneficial for many college students. If you’re curious to read more about the benefits and reasons of taking a gap year after high school and before you enter college, definitely keep reading!
1. Taking a gap year grants you the opportunity to truly find yourself.
Sometimes, you have to get lost before you find yourself. You know what they say…it’s gotta get worse before it gets better. Before you jump on the college bandwagon, you may want to take some time to figure some stuff out.
Do you want to stay with the ‘rents and commute, sleep in a dorm, or get your own place? Are you in a good place both mentally and emotionally? What are you most interested in learning more about? If you are like me, you don’t have just one career interest. The answers to these questions are important and summer vacation sometimes isn’t enough to find them. Take your time, it’s OK.
2. You may not need a college education in order to find the job you want after you graduate.
So you know what career path you want to pursue. Now, think about the things you’ll need for that job. The big misconception about that piece of paper you get after your 4 years is up, is that it determines where you can go in life. But in reality, unless you’re going for something in the law or medical field, you can probably go after anything you want! Employers care about your skills, your experience, and who you are as a person, not whatever you decided to major or minor in.
3. You’ve been in school for 12+ years already, taking a gap year could clear your mind.
Haven’t you worked long enough? The majority of your life has been spent in school. I think a break is well overdue, even if just temporarily. Enjoy your hiatus from homework, tests, studying, and boring classes. Then you’ll be refreshed and prepared to go back to school and endure it all over again.
4. You can use this time to learn something new or invest in a new hobby.
The last twelve years of schooling have been mandatory by law. But, now the chains are off and it is your choice whether you continue school or not. Although it is desired by many, traveling may just not be an option for everyone taking a gap year. But you can use your newfound freedom to learn about something or take up a hobby that was never offered to you in school, or get a job/internship to see what your dream profession would be like and what you’ll need to work on to achieve it. Or just relax and binge watch films and TV shows.
5. A majority of millennials are attending college because they assume that’s the only option. It’s not.
Okay you’ve thrown your graduation cap in air or got your diploma in the mail, now what? The answer is college for most people: they took the SATs and sent in their applications; but why? For some, it’s because of familial expectations. For others, it may be to stay close with friends or a significant other.
But the majority go to college just because it’s what everyone does and that shouldn’t be the case. Don’t make college plans for the sole reason that it is expected of you. It’s a commodity that you have to put time and money into, so unless you really want to go….there is no obligation. Ignore the hate you are bound to get and live your life as you see fit.
6. You can take the time to save money for school.
If you’re like me, your parents are not going to be paying for your books, food, clothes, etc., once you start college, so it would be smart to take a year off and save up. The alternative is stressing over not having enough money for what you need and/or not having enough time to make it. Who knows…if you end up finding a job you love, college may not even be part of the plan anymore.
7. You can have the opportunity to slow down for a bit.
There’s no law that says you have to go to college right out of high school or that you have to go at all. You can start college at any point in your life, whether you’re 19 or 30. So you don’t have to jump into anything, there’s no rush.
8. Taking a gap year requires serious courage.
Let yourself be the odd one out. Ready to do something bold? Taking a gap year is an act of bravery because you’re not concerned with what everyone is doing or what they think. You’re going to be unique and use a gap year to live it up the best way you know how. CARPE DIEM!