Is Taking A Gap Year Right For You?

By Nicole Hindberg on December 22, 2018

Gap years have become a lot more common in recent years in not only the United States, but a fair amount of European countries. Most people who consider a gap year have a lot to think about such as opinions from family and friends as well as taking other personal issues into account. Here are some common pros and cons of taking a gap year.


Pro #1: It allows you to figure out what you want to do.

Many high school students are pressured to have a job, play sports, be involved in extracurriculars and have good grades all at once. With all those things going on, many high school students don’t stop and think about what they actually want to do with their lives. Taking a gap year will allow you to have time to focus on yourself and discover want you may want to do.

Pro #2: It allows you to save money.

Everyone knows college is expensive, even with the countless scholarships out there many students find themselves not being able to pay for college. If you take a gap year, you’ll be able to save some money.

Pro #3: Self Discovery

High school is a very hard time for everyone. Once you leave that stressful situation and take time to focus on just yourself, you’ll discover things about you that you may not have known before.


Con #1: You’ll be behind

Your peers who went to college straight out of high school will ultimately be ahead of you and seeing their progress may make you feel uncomfortable about yourself and you might get discouraged.

Con #2: You are out of the school routine.

The gap year will completely change the type of lifestyle you have. In high school, you have a clear and consistent routine that revolves around your classes, once you take time off that routine completely changes. Throwing yourself back into that routine may stress you out or even discourage you.

Con #3: You aren’t ready to be on your own.

Many students use the gap year to travel or just work. If you aren’t used to being on your own and you can’t financially support yourself, you won’t be able to completely immerse yourself in the experience.

Ultimately, taking a gap year is up to you and no one should influence what you do. Many will be judgmental no matter what path you go, just remember to be confident in yourself and choose a path that’s right for you.

Nicole Hindberg is studying Journalism and Creative Writing at the University of Idaho. She has been writing for Uloop News since September 2018. She also writes for her school's newspaper called the Argonaut. She is also featured in weekly News shows on her university's radio station KUOI 89.3 FM Moscow.

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