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The Possibilities Of The Gap Year

3792 words - 15 pages

A gap year is a year off of academics, which provides time to explore interests and help determine career choices, containing both positive and negative aspects to consider. A gap year can be spent in a several ways from internships, working, volunteering, or traveling and exploring interests. It can provide students with life impacting traits that can provide a better future and greater outlook on life. If taken seriously, a gap year can have many positive effects on education and the motivation to continue school. Although gap years can be very expensive, it can overall be an opportunity of a lifetime, to create clear academic goals. Although a gap year is most often taken between high school and college, some students decide to take one after under-graduate school and before graduate school or entering the workforce.
If a gap year is planned properly, it can help a students take school and life more seriously impacting their entire life. In the UK and similarly in Australia, 11% of university bound students take a gap year (MacDonald 1). Meaning, that almost one in ten students, in the UK and Australia, whom already were planning on attending a university, take part in a gap year. One reason gap years have become popular is that parents have noticed that students are going to college because it is expected of them or for the social aspect, not because they have clear education or career goals in mind (Bull 77). This causes some parents to rethink the idea of a gap year, because college tuition is increasing every year and they do not want to send their child to school if they are not going for the right reasons. Most ‘gappers’ choose to take a gap year because they want adventure, independence, or they want something more that is off the normal path (O’Shea 565). However, students should take their gap year as an outside the classroom type of education, rather than a break; learning decision making skills, responsibility, and other skills that can be difficult to learn in a classroom (Bull 77). A gap year experience is unique to each individual as are the outcomes, working with an interest, such as doing community service with children or working at a newspaper company, will help a student create a life-altering impact on his/her personality and life (O’Shea 567). If a student does not have a plan for the gap year or he/she is not very motivated, it can cause him/her to not return to the original higher education goals (Sutherland 1). Basically meaning that if a gap year is not properly planned, or students are not taking their gap year as a learning experience but as a vacation it can cause them to not want to continue their education or return to their original goals. A gap year can overall provide a break from academics, providing real-world understanding and lessons, and overall help understand future goals, making future studies exciting upon returning (Torpey 27). Creating a once in a lifetime experience, that not only changes academic...

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