5 Best Reasons To Take A Gap Year

What Is A Gap Year?

A gap year is the time between finishing secondary education and starting college or university. The year between high school and college is the gap year. During the gap year, the student either travels abroad to gain experience through volunteer work or works locally. There are many benefits to allowing your student to have a gap year. I will list five reasons how a gap year can help you and your student achieve your goals.

If you are a parent, you are probably worried that if your student does not enroll in college immediately, they will lose interest. No need to worry. A gap year has to be done intentionally to benefit your family. Discuss and have a plan in place before the end of your students' senior year. I think a student should know by Fall of their senior year that they will have a gap year.

Knowing well ahead of time about the gap year can help put your student's mind at ease, and yours too. You do not have to feel pressured to have your child go off to college knowing full well that she is not prepared.

Some students need a Gap Year to Discover themselves and Enjoy Life!
Some students need a Gap Year to Discover themselves and Enjoy Life! | Source

Five Benefits Of A Gap Year

1) Academics. Research shows that a student should at least have a G.P.A. of 2.7 to apply for college. It really depends on the college. Depending on whose research you trust, a 3.0 is preferred. During the gap year, you will have an opportunity to think about how important academics are to you. Time away from the books, may increase your thirst for learning.


2) Maturity. Some students need to become more independent. Staying at home or travelling a year before starting college can be beneficial in growing and developing into a more mature person. Adulthood means being more responsible. Being responsible can build self-esteem.

3)  Financial. College tuition is expensive, and the least expensive is Community College. I checked out five Community Colleges from the East Coast to the West Coast and found the per credit hour rate to vary a bit. I prepared a chart just to give you an idea of the financial challenges you will face when a child attends community college. Double and triple the figures - then you will get the cost of a 4 year college/university tuition. Look at the chart.

Community College - Least Expensive College

(click column header to sort results)
Community College   
Cost Per Credit Hour   
Tuition Based on 15 Credit Hours - 2 Semesters   
Edgecombe Community College - Taboro, NC 
$56.50 
$1695 - Annually 
Washington County Community College - Calais, ME
$84 
$2520 - Annually
Austin Community College - Austin, TX 
$150 
$4500 - Annually
Oakland Community College - Bloomfield Hills, MI
$66.70
$2001 - Annually
Owens Community College - Toledo, OH
$131.75
$3852.50 - Annually

4)  Drained. School can be a drag for some students, and they get tired of the daily routine of getting up every morning going to school. They get tired of homework, and eventually lose their appetite for school stuff. Give this kid a break.

5)  Bonding. I really like the idea of bonding. Before a student goes off to college, strong relationships should be in tact, because difficult days will come. Before a student leaves for college, they should develop a strong relationship at home with a parent or guardian whom they can trust.

Gap Year Thoughts. I do know students who have had a gap year, unintentionally. A gap year has to be planned - you may need to apply to a program if you want to travel abroad. You will need a passport and the proper immunization. I think gap years should be discussed more in schools, especially for students unsure of themselves. This year could be the best time in your students' life, so think seriously about taking the leap. Please do not give up on your student!

What did you do in your gap year? Did you travel abroad or work locally. Or, did you find a Gap Year Program to help you navigate through that year?

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Comments 20 comments

Treasuresofheaven profile image

Treasuresofheaven 2 years ago from Michigan Author

Peggy W, I hear you. I think the Gap Year has it's pros and cons. In today's economy, a Gap Year may not be the best route. But it is certainly something to consider. Schools should require that every student decide on a career, job or solid course of action by Senior Year in High School. But that probably will not happen.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 2 years ago from Houston, Texas

I knew that I wanted to become a nurse and went directly from high school to college. I think that gap year is quite common in some places. I was unaware of it when I was a youngster. For some people who have no idea of what they wish to become, it might be a good idea assuming it does not stop them in their tracks regarding getting further education of some sort.


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 5 years ago from Southwest Missouri

You are right - only a handful know what they want to do. There are some who think they do, but they change their mind on a whim.

I have a hub in mind, too. I am thinking about when they are actually in college, though.


Treasuresofheaven profile image

Treasuresofheaven 5 years ago from Michigan Author

sholland10, we need to do an exit interview with high school students to learn their true feelings about their future. In reality, I think only a handful of students actually know what they want to do when they graduate high school.

You make me want to write more on this topic - thanks for following up!


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 5 years ago from Southwest Missouri

Maturity and responsibility are key - absolutely. I think I turned out all right (I have my moments, but that comes with motherhood, teaching, and just life in general - HA!).


Treasuresofheaven profile image

Treasuresofheaven 5 years ago from Michigan Author

sholland10, thanks for sharing your story about the gap year. And not only do they quit, but much money has been wasted. Tell me Teacher, students need to mature first - then college.

And wouldn't you say - you turned out pretty good - didn't you???

Take Care!


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 5 years ago from Southwest Missouri

I completely agree with you. I teach high school, and so many of my students start college immediately and end up quitting. They are burnt out, and their maturity level seems to drop when they have this "new-found-freedom." I took 4 years between high school and college. Those years were needed for me to get perspective - a husband and 18 month old helped too. I had to be responsible.

A GREAT HUB!!


Treasuresofheaven profile image

Treasuresofheaven 5 years ago from Michigan Author

Hi puddingicecream, thanks for your comment. Glad you find theses to be good ideas!!


puddingicecream profile image

puddingicecream 5 years ago from United States

good ideas!


Treasuresofheaven profile image

Treasuresofheaven 5 years ago from Michigan Author

taskeinc, I hear what your are saying - Gap Year could turn into "Gap Decade." taskeinc, you are hope for many - just goes to show you, never give up because 15 years is a long time to earn a degree.

Thanks for your comment and for stopping by.


taskeinc profile image

taskeinc 5 years ago from Atlanta

Nice article, but you have to be careful with the "Gap Year" because it could easily turn into a "Gap Decade" or more. I took my Gap Year after my Mom passed, started working in Corp. America, and it would be 15 years later before I finally obtained a BA in Behavioral Science.


Treasuresofheaven profile image

Treasuresofheaven 5 years ago from Michigan Author

yenajeon, thanks for sharing your experience. I do agree, a Gap Year has to be planned - it is not not just time off - it is time out of college.

Much success to you in school - keep me posted when you get your Masters!

You Go!!!!


yenajeon profile image

yenajeon 5 years ago from California

You bring up some excellent points. Unfortunately the gap year was nothing but a wasted year for me. Perhaps I should've had a plan or traveled abroad. I wished I had just gone directly to get my Masters! I'm so glad to be back in school. =)


Treasuresofheaven profile image

Treasuresofheaven 5 years ago from Michigan Author

Gee thanks Sun-Girl! You have a swell day!!!! I really appreciate you comment.

Blessings,

Sima


Sun-Girl profile image

Sun-Girl 5 years ago from Nigeria

Great hub from a great and well articulate writer,thanks for sharing.kudos.


Treasuresofheaven profile image

Treasuresofheaven 5 years ago from Michigan Author

Dee aka Nonna, you said it well. Today's students are under much more pressure than we were. A Gap Year could save a lot of heartache in the long run. Thanks for your thoughtful comments.

Hi Chatkath, how are you doing? Thanks for seeing the beauty in the Gap Year. Have a great day!


Chatkath profile image

Chatkath 5 years ago from California

Very interesting concept, it would help many students! Good Job - very informative hub!


Dee aka Nonna profile image

Dee aka Nonna 5 years ago

There is so much pressure on young people today that the gap year would be ideal for some...then you have your classic over-achievers that won't even take summer off. I was like that and almost killed myself...not enough people are (1)aware that this may have great benefit (2) be willing to do a little soul-searching to give it a try. Great hub.


Treasuresofheaven profile image

Treasuresofheaven 5 years ago from Michigan Author

Hi Marcells, thanks for commenting and First today!!! I think this Gap Year has great potential for young people.


Marcella Glenn 5 years ago from PA

Very informative.

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