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The Ultimate Guide to Making the Most of Your High School Gap Year

3 Min Read
September 20, 2023

High school can be overwhelming; with studying, tests, and college applications. You might feel pressured and overwhelmed by the application process. Imagine taking a break from classrooms and textbooks to explore new experiences, cultures, and perspectives. A gap year offers that chance to break free, gain life skills, and follow your passions. It's a unique educational journey between high school and college where you can pursue what excites you. Discover a world beyond the ordinary and ignite your curiosity!

Let’s find out more below!

What is a Gap Year?

A gap year is a period of experiential learning that students often take after high school, before starting college or their careers. It's a chance to deepen practical, professional, and personal awareness. Some students also choose to take a gap year while pursuing their degree.

During a gap year, students usually travel, work, or volunteer to explore their interests and decide what they want to study in college. It's a way to take a break, especially if they're feeling burned out or need to focus on their mental health.

While gap years have been popular in Europe for a while, they have gained more attention in the United States recently. The term gained significant interest when Malia Obama, the former first daughter, announced she would take a gap year before starting college. Her decision not only made the concept more widely known, but also gave other students the social permission to consider it as a viable option.

When And Why You Should Take A Gap Year

Every year, around 40,000 individuals from the United States and Canada take a leap of faith and embark on a gap year, as reported by the Gap Year Association. While many people choose to take a gap year between high school and college, individuals at different stages of life, including current college students, graduates, and even working professionals, can also benefit from taking time to recharge, refocus, and invest in their passions.

The amazing thing about a gap year is that there's no right or wrong time to embark on this adventure. While older participants may have additional responsibilities to consider, such as dependents and mortgages, with determination and careful planning, a gap year can fit into almost any stage of life.

Getting through high school often feels like a frantic race, constantly jumping through higher hoops. A gap year allows you to take a break and regroup before diving into college life. It's an opportunity to build self-reliance, confidence, and maturity that will help you succeed in your academic pursuits.

Many colleges and universities allow accepted students to defer their admission for a year, but they may require a proposal outlining how you plan to spend your gap year. It's important to note that deferring a college entry might have implications for financial aid, including scholarships. Make sure to find out how it could affect your funding before making any decisions.

As you can see, a gap year can be a transformative experience, offering you the chance to recharge, refocus, and explore your passions. Whether you decide to take a gap year right after high school or at a later stage in life, the benefits are undeniable. It's a time to step away from the academic race and discover who you truly are.