8 Benefits of Taking a Gap Year

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Millie Reynolds, Reporter

     Taking a gap year between high school and college is controversial. Many believe that you should go to college as soon as you graduate, while others think you should take time before starting that new venture. Taking a gap year after high school can provide young people with experiences and opportunities they might not have gotten otherwise. Whether you’re looking into taking a gap year or want to learn more benefits about them, here are ten benefits from taking one. 

  1. Experiencing New Cultures

     Gap years allow young adults to travel the world. If this is what you choose to do with your time, there are many beautiful cultures to surround yourself in. You will be able to make new friends, learn about their traditions, try new kinds of food, experience events, and more. Taking a gap year in your young adult years and experiencing foreign cultures is something you will carry with you for the rest of your life and make you a more well-rounded person. 

  1. Self Discovery

     A gap year gives a person the opportunity to learn things about themselves they might not have otherwise been able to at that age. Self-discovery is the key to making the best decisions for your life. It is something many people won’t find until later in life or not at all. Learning this skill early will help you reach your goals and get more out of life. 

  1. Discovering Interests 

     Learning what hobbies and interests you like are essential. Taking a gap year can help you understand what you want and dislike and introduce you to brand new experiences. By knowing what you like and dislike, you can make a more informed decision about your future career. Having new experiences and living a different kind of life can help you learn about new interests you might never have expected. 

  1. Building Resume

     Gap years will give you numerous opportunities and experiences that will help build your resume. Recreational activities, volunteering, and more activities you do in your gap year can develop your expertise and be a considerable part of your resume. Many of these can determine how a potential boss may feel about you. The more you have experienced, the more opportunities you might get.

  1. Meeting New People

     Not only do gap years provide some of the most unforgettable experiences, but they also allow you to meet lifelong friends. “Not only did I meet my husband of 10 years, but I also got to meet some of my lifelong best friends and visit some incredible places around the world,” said Michelle Head, a teacher who took a gap year to travel and work. Having the opportunity to meet new people at a young age can give you the ability to have healthier relationships and more social skills.

  1. Independence 

     Independence is a life skill everyone should possess. Taking a gap year forces you to learn how to be dependent on yourself. Whether you go to college or not after your gap year, independence is a crucial part of essential life skills. It will allow you to learn more about yourself, grow your skills, and make you a well-rounded person.

  1. More Work Experience

     Volunteering, interning, and working a job are all ways to excel in work experience and prepare you for college and the real world. Not only will the experience benefit you, but it will also look amazing on your resume. Future employers will be more likely to hire you because of your experience and proof of work ethic to be successful.

  1. Memories

     Gap years provide many benefits for young people, but one of the most important is the memories that they will make during their time away. No matter what you decide to do during your gap year, there are sure to be some of the most unforgettable moments that you will take with you for the rest of your life. The people you’ll meet, lessons you’ll learn, and the experiences you’ll have will provide you with a lifetime of memories.

     Gap years are an excellent opportunity for young people to take. Although there are misconceptions about gap years such as expense, getting behind, and a waste of time, it’s not entirely true. A national alumni survey in 2015 by the American Gap Association found that 90% of students who take a gap year will return to college within the year and won’t feel behind. They also found that over 93% of students found that taking a gap year increased their self-development, communication skills and gave them more life experience.