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One step back for two steps forward

Taking a gap year can play a key role in boosting students’ performance in college and onward

Students+who+take+gap+years+often+report+growing+in+their+understanding+of+themselves+and+the+world%2C+and+the+development+of+their+communication+skills.
Students who take gap years often report growing in their understanding of themselves and the world, and the development of their communication skills.

Students who take gap years often report growing in their understanding of themselves and the world, and the development of their communication skills.

Darrion Sandoz

Darrion Sandoz

Students who take gap years often report growing in their understanding of themselves and the world, and the development of their communication skills.

Mario Ghazal, Staff Writer

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Most students leave high school and either start the beginning of their lives in the real-world workforce or immediately head off to a university. A smaller selection of students chooses a third option: a gap year. A gap year is a deferred period of time granted by a college after a student is accepted. They can range from three months to a year or even longer. They give students time to explore the world and themselves, personally and professionally. Students should seriously consider taking a gap year.

A gap year gives students time to step back from the constant busywork of turning in essays from four different classes all at once and discover what they actually want to do with the lot that they have been given in life. This time off gives students the opportunity to go out into the world and experience other cultures, do volunteer work or start an internship. Regardless of whether or not graduating high schoolers intend to use their gap year as a real experience, working with gap year programs still provides students with real-world experience to help them realize what they want to achieve in their college careers.

a study found that 60% of students who took a gap year reported that their experience had a direct effect on either confirming or changing their majors.”

Students who take gap years often report growing in their understanding of themselves and the world, and the development of their communication skills. Over 90% of students that took a gap year surveyed in a study by the American Gap Association (ACA) reported a multitude of benefits: development in their communication skills and their ability to communicate with people of other cultures, an increase in maturity and self-confidence and allowed them time to reflect and develop as a person.

This boost in maturity and direction often yields physical results that persist throughout a student’s college career. The study found that at Middlebury College and the University of North Carolina, students who took a gap year almost always performed over the average academically, often to a statistically significant degree.

The added time from a gap year helps students to mature and develop some well thought out goals in their upcoming college and professional careers. While this feeling isn’t measurable, a study found that 60% of students who took a gap year reported that their experience had a direct effect on either confirming or changing their majors.

Students who take a gap year will find their experiences invaluable for their success in college. Upcoming graduates should apply for their college before going on their trip, and defer the start of their freshman year in order to make time for their trip.





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One step back for two steps forward