Every fall, millions of high school graduates worldwide commit to attending college. That’s what we were taught to do. And it seems like the most obvious step after graduation.
However, the tendency has changed over the past decades as more and more graduates didn’t rush to set foot on campus right after high school.
According to research, in 2020, 20% of students decided to take a gap year instead of going straight to college. This is a huge number compared to only 3% in 2018. Why do high school graduates choose to take a break?
And why do colleges support this decision? There are quite a few reasons, and we will tell you about them.
Boosting Your Performance
In college, plenty of things can affect your overall performance, including your attendance, test scores, and how well you cope with various homework assignments.
One way to boost academic performance is to turn to a reliable college essay writing service like EssayPro and get high grades for every paper you submit. And there is one more way.
This can surprise you, but taking a whole year off to rest from studying can actually improve your academic performance.
According to numerous studies, those who take a break to work, volunteer, travel, or discover their passions come back to college more mature, refreshed, and, thus, are full of motivation to continue their education.
Together, improved focus, motivation, and engagement in studies can do wonders for students’ performance. No wonder why the majority of students who have been through a gap year tend to get better grades in college.
Due to this reason, one of the most reputable universities of all time, Harvard, is encouraging this practice.
Mastering New Languages
Being multilingual is a huge benefit in the modern world. Therefore, the opportunity to gain fluency in one or a few foreign languages should sound like a weighty reason to take a gap year.
Mastering a different language can expand your horizons in many ways. It can make you more employable, boost your brain function, and even make you more confident. Yet, despite all the perks, you should know that achieving language fluency can be hard.
Nevertheless, if you devote your gap year to traveling, it can help a lot. Visiting new places, immersing in different cultures, and speaking the local language are the best ways to become multilingual. So, this is one more benefit you can get.
Getting Better at Budgeting
The lack of financial literacy is one of the largest issues young people face in college. Guess what can help you become more financially aware? That’s right, a gap year.
Individuals who take a gap year tend to be more financially literate than their peers. Traveling around the world and taking full responsibility for their lives, they learn to keep an eye on their budgets and plan them wisely. So, this is another reason to go for it.
The only question remains: where students can get enough money to make the most of their gap years. Luckily, many educational facilities, including the University of North Carolina and Princeton, provide scholarships and fellowships to help their future freshmen afford this experience.
Cultivating a Range of Vital Skills
In the modern world, possessing theoretical knowledge and hard skills isn’t enough to succeed in the workplace and in life. Today, a much larger focus falls on soft skills.
Some of the priceless soft skills are problem-solving, communication, adaptability, leadership, and emotional intelligence. And you can nurture them all during a gap year.
While acquiring such experience, students are cultivating a wide variety of soft skills, which significantly expands their life and professional horizons.
Recognizing this benefit, many colleges and universities create special programs that help future students acquire the most skills during their break.
For example, Tufts University has a 1+4 bridge program. The program allows students to spend their gap years meaningfully by providing national and international service.
During the program, young people gain valuable life experiences and skills that can turn them into successful students and professionals in the future.
Making the Most of Your Life
Finally, there is one more reason to take a break after graduating high school. Most often, young people devote their gap years to traveling, volunteering, working, and doing things they enjoy.
As you can imagine, during this year, they are having the time of their lives. But there is much more to it than just a chance to have some fun.
In fact, having the time of your life during a gap year can have many perks in the long run. Namely, it can help you explore the world and find your place. It can also help you pull it through college without facing academic burnout. So, in any case, it can be very beneficial.
The Bottom Line
Just a few decades ago, taking a gap year was seen as an attempt to escape responsibility and postpone college entrance. But everything is much different today.
All across the US and beyond, thousands of high school graduates are deciding to take a break and have the time of their lives before committing all their time to study. As you now know, there are plenty of reasons for doing so, and many top-ranked educational facilities support this practice.
So, is it worth taking a gap year or not? The answer is definitely yes! During this time, you can make lots of memories, acquire plenty of priceless skills, learn languages, and come back being your better self.
However, keep in mind that the benefits you will get depend only on the way you choose to spend this time.
So, if you are planning to use this opportunity, be sure to use it wisely and make the most of it!