Should you take a gap year?


The gap year between senior year of high school and freshmen year of college is finding an increase in popularity in the United States, with a 20% rise since 2006, according to Forbes. Gap years originally started in the United Kingdom, but have expanded into an actual life decision. The American Gap Association records gaps as long as two months to two years.






Pros (according to Forbes and Time):

  • Gives students a chance to learn about themselves and increase self-awareness
  • More colleges are offering scholarships for students who want to take gap years, universities include Princeton and University of North Carolina.
  • Can help you re-evaluate what college you want to go to.
  • There are low cost gap year plans, such as AmeriCorps, City year, or WWOOF-USA

Cons (according to Forbes and Time):

  • Because gap years are such a big commitment, it’s not a good idea to only want to only want to commit yourself if you just want to have fun or travel.
  • Many public schools won’t let you take a gap year, if this occurs, try to talk to your school administrator.
  • To avoid colleges, you have to go back to school by the end of the year, so make sure to decide where to go before or during the gap year.

Marah Prpich Grade 12, Highland Park High School, when asked about her stand on gap years says, “No, I want to get college over with, if they want a break from the academics, or a break to find themselves then that’s a good idea.”

Ms. Esso counselor from Highland Park High School says, “I think they’re a good year if students have a plan; if they’re going to volunteer or intern.  Sometimes, it can be harder for students to start school again if they take a year off.”

So, the decision is different for everyone. Just be concerned with what is the best for your future and which career decision will make you happy.