Is a Gap Year Right for You?Posted: October 24, 2011
By Michelle Burke
Welcome to college, these next four years will shape who you are and how successful you will be for the rest of your life. Although that sounds a bit harsh, it is a dose of reality for many incoming freshman at Lasell College that begin enrollment right after high school. At eighteen years old, the majority of adolescents have no idea how they would like to spend the rest of their lives. Instead of pressuring young students to plan out their futures too abruptly, taking a year off, or a “gap year”, between high school and college can be to their benefit.
By taking a year off before beginning college, students can develop a sense of whom they really are and what they would like to accomplish in life. A year off to think about what career path to choose or what to major in allows more time for more in depth thoughts, rather than choosing a major at random at the last minute. More focused students striving to complete school and receive a degree they are actually interested in will be more likely to graduate and become successful.
The gap year between high school and college may also offer a harsh and much needed reality check to younger people. Students will quickly learn that being a graduate out of high school will only offer minimum wage jobs, or jobs with little room for success and ability to advance within a company. Working long hours and being out on their own so quickly takes a toll on eighteen-year-olds, quickly making them realize a college degree could make life easier and not as stressful.
Although it is great to begin college and start planning a future, some time to think and learn what is really wanted for oneself is not a bad idea. It could even end up benefiting them, and giving them a higher chance of success.