Many students choose to take a gap year before college for a good reason—it’s an opportunity to relax, explore new things, and give yourself time to reflect before diving into higher education.
Taking time off between high school and college can be beneficial in many ways. This pause gives you a chance to decide if the course you choose is what you want to pursue and can help you focus on other aspects of your life that you may have been neglecting while studying hard to graduate from high school. If you’re thinking about taking a gap year, there are many great reasons why you should do so, and here are some of them.
Too many students who leave high school expect college to be similar with the same number of classes, workload, and extracurricular activities. It is not how college works; in fact, college is structured almost exactly opposite of a high school.
If you’re burned out on your old activities and feel like you’ve taken on too much, or you can’t find a balance between work and play, it’s time to take a step back and reevaluate. A year away might be just what you need to realize what truly matters most to you.
Makes You Independent
Taking a gap year to have your adventures and create your own life experiences is an amazing way to grow as an individual. You can learn resilience and life skills that will help you throughout your education, career, and beyond by going through hardships.
Since you won’t be staying with your parents during a gap year, you’ll become self-sufficient and less reliant on others. Plus, by gaining more independence from family members who may be overbearing or overprotective, you’ll develop better problem-solving skills as well as responsibility.
Helps You Establish Study Habits
Practicing discipline in school is not only good for grades, but it will also help you develop good study habits that will pay off later in life. Having good study habits means being able to dedicate more time to your studies. Developing these discipline skills now means that you’ll be able to balance work and school much easier when you get older because working hard on assignments will become second nature.
Getting used to studying now also teaches you how to use your time efficiently. There are many distractions outside of class in college that can reduce your study productivity if you don’t know how to handle them. Getting experience dealing with time-wasters at home is beneficial for getting through college.
Allows You to Meet New People and Experience New Cultures
Taking time to explore will help you grow as an individual, so being overseas gives you an amazing opportunity to meet new people and see how other cultures live. That’s one of my favorite things about traveling—getting out of your comfort zone and making friends with people who are different from you. These experiences will open up your eyes to how much more there is in life that you haven’t done nor experienced yet.
Enables You to Gain Work Experience
When you take a gap year, you give yourself space and time to figure out your interests and passions before committing to college. If you’re planning on majoring in business but don’t know if it’s right for you, there’s no better way to find out than by getting some real-world experience!
Even better, because your options are so limited, employers will often value even low-level experiences more than they would otherwise. During your year off, you can use the skills you’ve learned with your future jobs. It will be a great way to add to your admission essay once your gap year’s done.
You may ask yourself what colleges seek. They want unique, hardworking individuals who go above and beyond. Working part-time during college shows that you’re willing to work around your classes and get ahead of other students in school! Whether you get hired for your job during college doesn’t matter. All that matters is that when colleges see these experiences on an application, it shows them how dedicated you are.
Develops Your Personality
A gap year can help young adults find themselves and understand what they want out of life. With that comes confidence, an understanding of their strengths and weaknesses, and passion for what they want to do with their future. This knowledge helps them better prepare for college, careers, relationships, and all of life’s other significant milestones.
What you’ve learned so far should have provided you with great information about why taking a gap year before college is beneficial. If you want to have fun, be productive, and improve your social skills, take advantage of all that your community has to offer. You will still have options for school when you take time off, but it’s up to you whether your experience is worth waiting for.