Is Taking a Gap Year Before College Worth It?

Whether or not a student should take a gap year has been a topic of debate for decades. Some people support it. However, many, even today, frown upon the idea of it. Hence, it becomes very difficult for a student to make a decision. 

woman traveling

The high school senior year is filled with crucial decisions. And most students struggle as they lack clarity and are unsure of their future. As a result, some students consider taking a gap year to determine their career choices. 

If you are one of them, it’s better to understand the pros and cons of a gap year before jumping to a conclusion. You can also hire an essay writer online from a reliable paper writing service to deal with your assignments and save your grades while weighing your options and making your mind up. 

Pros of Taking a Gap Year

You Can Try Different Jobs

Learning gets more meaningful when combined with hands-on experience. During a gap year, you can invest your time in internships or part-time jobs. It will give you a gist of what a career looks like in your preferred industry. 

These job exposures will also help you understand whether or not the job profile you admire is suitable for you, so later on, you can select your major accordingly. While certain careers look great on paper, getting real-time experience might change your perspective. 

You Can Earn and Save for College

It is common knowledge that a college education is expensive. In America, the average fees for in-state public colleges are above $10,000, while for private colleges, it is more than $38,000. However, you can utilize the gap year to earn and fund your college education with proper planning. 

You Can Strengthen Your Resume

If you plan your gap year around career and personality-building activities, you will have a stronger resume in the end. You can enroll in gap year programs, join various organizations, or volunteer.

If you already have a career option in mind, find programs that align with your plans. Otherwise, take time to explore and participate in activities that generally benefit all job profiles.

You Can Discover Your Passion

Though gap years are usually taken in preparation for college, you can also work on non-academic interests or try something new. Wanted to be a singer in your childhood? A gap year lets you rediscover your passion and explore career prospects in the same field. 

Cons of Taking a Gap Year

You May Lose Track

A gap year might sound great in terms of career discovery and personality building. But without a proper plan, it is easy to waste most of your time and do nothing productive. 

Moreover, without a goal, you may be confused with the myriad of activities available. Be it saving money or exploring new things, set a clear aim and plan your activities around it to save time. 

You May Feel Left Behind

Even though the popularity of gap year is increasing, only a few students might take it among the people you know. Seeing others go to college or move forward with their careers might get demotivating after some time. 

However, it is essential to realize that the fear of missing out shouldn’t stop you from investing your time where you want. A gap year is still a learning experience, albeit different from college. 

You May Spend More

Some of the gap year activities can disrupt your finances, especially if you don’t have an independent source of income. For example, if your plans include traveling or taking up training courses, you might incur unplanned expenses beyond your budget. Therefore, before taking a gap year, it is crucial to plan your finances, work out your spending limits, and secure a source of income if possible. 

You May Lose Touch With Studies

Your study circle and academic environment can motivate you to study well when you are in school. But a gap year isn’t the same case. The activities and programs during the year might put you out of touch with your studies. And when you ultimately plan on continuing with academics, getting back with the same enthusiasm and momentum might be difficult. But this isn’t true for everyone as some people find studying after a gap year refreshing. 

Should You Take a Gap Year?

Before making a decision based on the pros and cons, you need to remember that everyone’s gap year experiences are different. Some travel extensively while others volunteer and build their resumes. The pros and cons of taking a gap year only guide your decision. Ultimately, it depends on you, your career goals, and what you want to achieve in a year’s break.


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