The Gap Year Option


Sinead Marie

Passports to show travel option for students taking a Gap Year

 Thinking about life after high school can be scary, so many options and so many outside opinions, one option being a gap year. Many students decide to travel, take a Post Grad year, volunteer, or work. According to Hannah Robinson from The Breeze, “We shouldn’t be forced into a job that doesn’t fulfill us, before really discovering our potential and how big this world really is.” Her opinion is that a gap year can be beneficial because you will be able to learn about new opportunities, which can help in the long run.

Sinead Marie
Gap Year program book in the career center at Hall High School

There are countless amounts of programs that students decide to take during a gap year. According to Nick Ross and John Hall, a gap year “is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.” They started their own gap year program called Art History Abroad, they take students for four six-weeks to Venice, Florence, Rome, Siena, Verona, and Naples. Art History Abroad will help students get the full experience of diverse cultures and open their eyes to different possibilities.

Gap years have been a choice for students after high school for a long time, but today, taking a gap year before college is typically not the path most students choose. Students usually use a gap year for traveling, however, some use it for maturity and preparation for college. Susannah Major, a senior at Hall High School, stated that, “they’re cool, I would do one [Gap Year] if I didn’t dance.” Most athletes that consider taking a gap year lean towards taking a Post Grad year, so they can focus on keeping up with athletic activity, while still being in school.

Many people assume that when students take a gap year, they will be behind when they go to college. However, majority of the students that do take a gap year tend to keep up with their studies by establishing a study plan so that they don’t fall behind.  Some students also can’t decide what to major in, so they will spend more money deciding what to do in college and being able to not finish within the four years. Taking a year off to figure out what you would like to do, will cause your parents to manage their money better, especially because some choose to work.

“The concept of a gap year, if not molested by laziness, is a good one” said Mr. Marselle. He also stated that while in Europe, he found out that taking a gap year was the norm. In one society we have it as the given, while in another, it’s still the minority, despite the positive outcomes.

Taking a gap year can be a difficult decision for upcoming college students, but the outcomes can be impactful in life later on.   There are numerous benefits, including finding themselves in preparation for college. For example according to the Gap Year Association, 92% gain life experiences, 51% explore study options, 48% volunteer, 44% explore career options, and 28% gain work experience. Students  who took a gap year reported that it had significantly added to their ability to get job.

Some people in society look down on people that take a gap year, but these students want to go to college with a purpose, regardless of when. People worry that if one takes a gap year, they will never return to school, but 90% of gap year students return to college after a year. In fact, “students who took a gap year almost always over-performed academically,” since taking a year off from school “prevents academic burnout,” (Gap Year Association). Although, there are many misconceptions regarding gap years, their overall purpose is to help students to overcome obstacles they may have faced in college.