Taking a gap year is quite common among high school students in the United States. A gap year is a year-long sabbatical. For students, it serves as a hiatus from their academic life, during which students pursue temporary jobs that help them earn some money and gain worthwhile experience. High school students are inexperienced. A gap year is an ideal opportunity for the students to gain experience. The idea of a gap year was widely accepted by the American people 50 years ago when the young generation of that time decided to go for temporary jobs. This kick-started the gap year industry. Today, there are several companies that provide counseling, temporary jobs, and basic training for students who want to take a gap year (Abdullah, 2017).
During their senior year at high school, most students spend their time studying. A gap year relieves them of the pressures of the senior year and allows them to focus on what matters the most. Most students find so overburdened by their demanding academic life that they decide to skip a year. Students should take a gap year to gain an outlook on their lives. During this time, a person can have ample time to re-evaluate career goals and future aspirations.
A gap year is an ideal opportunity for students to interact with professionals from their chosen field. The corporate sector comprises a diverse group of people, each of whom has different academic and professional achievements. When students interact with them, they learn the ability to accept a variety of cultural, religious, and ethical values. This later helps students become more open-minded.
Higher education has changed. It has become quite expensive for parents to send their children to college on a single salary. Most middle-class parents spend a lifetime saving for their child’s college education. A gap year can considerably help parents. Students taking a gap year have the potential and ideal chance to generate funds for their college program. A year spent generating income will help them to spend four years at college, without the troubling thoughts of paying their fees (Keup 2016).
Another fact is the amount of productive dissonance a student learns through the gap year experience. It is doubtful that students who spend a year working with professionals will have the same mindset, their classmates from high school have. It has been seen that most students change their majors after a gap year. During college, gap year experience helps them understand the practicality of the courses they are enrolled in. It allows them to focus on understanding what a particular subject is about and filter out the useless theories that have little practical implications.
Despite the benefits of a gap year experience, most Americans still do not opt for it. Additionally, many colleges discourage potential students from taking a gap year. Most people believe that a gap year would derail the student’s academic potential. However, gap years, especially those that have been taken through registered programs are valued by colleges.
Parents who are nervous about it should know that a gap year spent gaining formative experiences and attaining relevant skills acts as a catalyst for their children’s career. The financial benefits of having saved enough to fund all, or part of college education, coupled with the on-job training acquired is far more valuable than what most think (Shahid and Adams, 2020).
While books and lectures may make a difference, it is the experience gained from work that makes a lasting impact. If our society has to persevere, we must allow the young generation to learn through their own experience. If the students can earn enough money for themselves, they will be able to succeed in college as well. I, therefore, believe that a gap year is beneficial for students, especially if they want to succeed in a prominent company.
Abdullah, Doria. “Making the Gap Year a Reality: Six Issues for Consideration.” International Higher Education, vol. 89, 2017. journals, https://doi.org/10.6017/ihe.2017.89.9837.
Keup, Jennifer. “Gap Year: How Delaying College Changes People in Ways the World Needs.” The Journal of Higher Education, vol. 86, no. 3, 2016, pp. 484-487. Taylor Francis Online, https://doi.org/10.1080/00221546.2015.11777372.
Shahid, Ramzan, and William Adams. Emotional Intelligence Level Higher in Residents Who Took a Gap Year Before Medical School. v. 11, US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, 2020, 10.2147/AMEP.S268464.