From the top Ivy League Universities, to prominent news sources, to private college consultants, experts in higher education are saying that taking a gap year can do nothing but benefit high school graduates. A gap year has been described as a modern day rite of passage and an opportunity to not only take advantage of the natural break between high school and college, but to unplug from the everyday classroom. A gap year is a chance to reboot into a new style of learning, to embark on real work and world experiences and to gain a better sense of identity, self confidence, and hone in on one’s ability to be a critical thinker. What this formative break away from the classroom can do, is to ignite a desire for change, awake a passion for learning, and expose a young adult to multiple fields of study and career paths to serve as inspiration in gaining a direction for college.
Mind The Gap (Year): A Break Before College Might Do Some Good
“Taking a gap year, postponing the start of college, is becoming more common in the U.S. As Kirk Carapezza reports, more schools are encouraging students to take one — and even helping pay for them.”
“More and more elite schools are packaging gap years. Princeton and UNC-Chapel Hill, for example, have started to offer fully subsidized service programs so that more low-income students can get similar experiences to their affluent peers.”
Gap Student Olivia Gaines: The Impact of a Gap Year
Widness & Wiggins
Gap Semesters: Hitting ‘Pause’ Before College
Emily O’Kelly of St. Helena, California experienced life in Southeast Asia last year through what is called a Gap Semester.
O’Kelly made the decision to defer college for a year while jumping 14,000 feet out of a plane.
“After registering the fact that I just skydived for the first time, I immediately felt a surge of panic as I realized the path I was taking wasn’t the one I necessarily wanted to. As soon as I got home, I ran to my mom and asked, ‘Is it too late to take a Gap Semester with Adventures Cross-Country?’”
Underscoring that deciding on a gap program “turned out to be the best decision I have yet made,” she is now in Ghana working for a social fashion company called Global Mamas.