Gap Year: A Well-Deserved Break

POST-GRAD: How taking a gap year could be the enriching break awaiting some high school graduates need

Graduate with shadow


Taking a gap year could be the enriching break some high school graduates need

By Gina Kim

By the end of the semester, seniors will graduate and immediately begin their journey into college. They will spend the next grueling four years studying, yet again.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

A gap year is simply a break from education, usually after graduating high school.

Taking gap year can be considered taboo. Students are hammered by teachers and parents alike on the importance of college. Some students have spent more than half of their lives preparing to attend an elite university. Telling them to delay their entrance into college may sound absurd.

In addition, students will be missing school, thus falling behind their peers.

But in recent years, there is a rising trend in high school graduates taking a break before attending college — and that’s a good thing.

Famously, Malia Obama, who graduated high school in 2016, took a gap year and began college at Harvard in late 2017. Her declaration to take a year off had nodding approvals, speaking of the benefits in the future.

Of course, what students decide to do during the year will determine the future benefits and consequences.

Several colleges and universities, including Harvard, encourage students to take advantage of this break by providing gap year programs which send students abroad to volunteer or start internships.

They claim that kids who take a gap year are more mature and engaged in their education because of this opportunity to work, travel or volunteer.

According to surveys, 20 to 50 percent of students enter college as undecided majors and 75 percent of students change their major at least once before graduation.

A gap year also offers the time for students to sort out their interests and passions. It may spark inspirations and lead students to their true calling.

More students, if not all, should consider the benefits of a gap year.

It can be a truly enlightening experience if they make the correct decisions. After all, students can use a well-earned extended vacation.