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The Gap Year The “gap year” has been a common rite of passage in many foreign countries for decades, but it has now started to gain significant steam here in America as told by Danielle Wood, a parent from Today’s Parenting. This leads to many questions that parents and students want answered, such as: “Is the “gap year” a good or bad consideration? ” “Will this decision put me behind? ” “Does this stop me from ever going to college? ” “Will I ever get my college degree? ” All of these questions have can be answered yes and no, all depending on the person and their determination.

Some people argue that a gap year is not a good idea, however; others say it is a great idea and every student should consider taking one. However, as I mentioned in my thesis, it all depends on how each individual indulges in the activities that help them to become better prepared for the transition. A gap year does not mean that your child will NEVER go to college or ever get a college degree. It is merely time taken out to plan out what exactly they want to do in college and experience life in the real world.

During this time off the student and parents should take time to complete college applications and decide on what major and school environment is right for them. Still this does not mean that every parent is in agreement with this gap year. Most parents do agree that after twelve years of consistency in school, a student may need to take a break, whereas; others say that a student should continue right on into college immediately after high school. Believe it or not a gap year can help most students to become more focused and ready for the college life and its academic stances.

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In fact, Harvard even agrees with this gap year so much that they encourage all of their newly admitted students to consider taking a year off before entering college, especially one that is as highly intelligent as Harvard (Today’s Parenting, Wood). The whole objective of the gap year is to carefully plan and consider every option. Those who do choose to take a gap year will be greatly rewarded in the end. This gap between high school and college can be one of the greatest experiences for a student, but only if they take advantage of it properly.

This time off can be used for what most consider the hardest part of growing up and to better prepare yourself for the college transition. A student can also take this time to do an internship, travel abroad, and volunteer in your community, work to earn money, or even pursue an extracurricular activity. All of these things can help you become more responsible and better equipped for the transition from high school and into the real world. The biggest pro about the gap year is that many students feel more ready to begin school again after being out for so long.

They also feel that it can be used to get into a “better” college (CollegeConfidential. com, Inc. ). Just as there are advantages and good outcomes of this, there are also some disadvantages and reasons why other parents and students argue that the gap year is not a good choice. For some students, it may seem hard to get back on track after being out of school for a long period of time causing the gap year to be of no assistance to them. Taking a gap year does not benefit you if you choose to do nothing with the time you have and just sit around waiting for someone to give you everything.

Those who argue that taking a year off is not beneficial usually think that they can never get into college and get a degree. Well that statement is partially true and partially false, depending on each individual. If you have no intentions of working towards going to college during this time off, then of course you want get into college. No one is going to just through a college invitation to you and say “hey you are in enrolled and you did nothing”. If you are lazy and expect hand-outs then a gap year is probably not a smart thing to do.

Gap years can also be a bad thing for those who forget what they have learned easily and aren’t quick to catch back up. In conclusion, whether or not the choice of a student taking a gap year is bad, solely depends upon that individual and whether or not it is a good choice for them and who they are as an individual. As a motivated individual, I personally think that if a student takes a year off that they should be very motivated and dedicated to making the best out of the time they have.

Gap years can be used to advantage only if you are determined to go to college no matter what it takes. During a gap year one learns to become responsible and independent in the real world and they also learn valuable life lessons before going to college, placing them at an advantage over a freshmen right out of high school. The only way to truly find if this decision is right for you is to judge yourself and your ability to stay on track and in line. Works Cited ©2001-2010 CollegeConfidential. com, Inc. Wood, Danielle. “Today’s Parenting” Web. 22 Apr. 2008



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