As the end of your high school career approaches, there are a lot of things weighing on your mind. What colleges should you apply do? What do you want to study once you get to college? Do you want to go to college at all? A lot of people decide to take a year off after they graduate from high school to give themselves time to sort these questions out. For some, the financial cost of entering college right away, especially if they are unsure what they want to study, makes it more appealing to take a “gap year” to work and save up for tuition costs. By understanding the costs and benefits associated with taking a gap year, you will be able to plan out your post high school schedule so that you are better off in the long run.
Gap Year Benefits
For many students, taking a year off after the end of high school is a great way to recharge the batteries. As previously mentioned, you can spend a year working to save up money for tuition or room and board once you enter college. In addition, you might think about traveling to broaden your experiences before you start college or intern at a corporation that will better prepare you for the educational road ahead. Having a gap year can reinvigorate you and give you the energy you are looking for to go back to school and begin working on your degree. This time away can also point you in the right direction when it comes to what career path you want to pursue. The key to reaping these benefits, however, is making sure that you have a detailed plan for your gap year so you do not fall into common traps that will only lead to negative effects on your life.
Drawbacks of Taking a Gap Year
One of the most common setbacks that happen to those that take a gap year is that they fall into a “comfort zone” that they cannot break out of. For example, instead of broadening their perspective on the world or getting a job that can help them in their future they end up sitting on the couch watching television all day. While this scenario is certainly not the case for the majority of students taking a year off, it is crucial that your plan for your gap year both serves your interests and makes it easier for you to return to school when the time comes. It is definitely easier to fall into these traps than to put in the time and effort to prepare for your future, but with everything else in life, the hard work will pay off. Studies show that college graduates earn 84 percent more in their lifetime than high school graduates.
Tips for Making the Most of Your Gap Year
Take the time you need away from school after you graduate so that you can have the energy you need to succeed in college. You can enroll in an online continuing education course through a local community college that will translate to your possible major once your gap year has passed. This way, you can not only begin to get a feel for choosing your career in life, but a possible head start as well. General education classes will give you the building blocks you need to pursue your degree in science, mathematics, economics and more. Talk with your parents and guidance counselors about your plans for your gap year so that you do not stray off course while you are away from school. By working with those closest to you, you will be able to set attainable goals that will also move you forward on the road to college.
Tamila Lee is a freelance blogger who enjoys scrapbooking and cooking in her free time. She helps companies build their online brand through thoughtful guest blogging.