Reasons Students Should Have a Gap Year Before College We often hear of the European students who take a gap year before college to go off exploring and learning about themselves before they buckle down to college studies. There is an air of mystery and excitement about that year taken off from college that leaves a high school senior, whose parents have allowed him to take a gap year, quacking in anticipation of the blessed year off…
The reasons for which will be discussed in this paper. However, prior to discussing these privileges, I will first present the possible drawbacks of a college gap year that was not properly planned and thought out by the parents and student. Yes, even for all the perceived benefits of the gap year, there are also negative effects or reasons for doing so. Let's put it this way, Hollywood has produced one too many movies about teenage high school graduates who go backpacking through Europe for all the wrong reasons. Taking a gap year does not mean that a high school graduate should party up a storm and insist in spending it in Europe when the parental units may not be able to afford it. This is not a movie like Eurotrip. Spending a year in Europe just to party is not an economical thing to do. The plane ticket is expensive enough without parents having to shoulder the cost of the child “exploring” the wrong side of Europe through parties that make the kid stay up late and sleep all day. Nothing remotely related to learning can be gained from that. Some kids also opt to take a year off from school when he is not accepted into his chosen university. The excuse becomes that the gap year is necessary in order to help him prepare to try and gain acceptance into the same university or college next year. A college application rejection is not the end of the world that one should wallow in for a whole year. There is no discounting the fact that getting rejected by any school one submitted an application to is quite upsetting. But the point of getting into college is just that. One learns to deal with rejection and go on with life. By opting to take a year out of the educational system, the student only makes matter worse for himself. Taking a year off will not guarantee that there will be an admission in his future. However, opting to attend a “safety school” will at least guarantee that the student can try to get a transfer application accepted the next semester or the next year, depending upon how the grades look for that student. Finally, the biggest mistake a student can make is considering a gap year simply because it will look good on his resume. Just because your college resume might look a little thin on the experience and volunteer side does not mean that there is nothing in it for a decent school board to consider. Those are not the defining moments of your high school career. Instead, what college boards really look for are the good grades and passing marks relevant to the application you put in. The most important question is if a student, without a gap year experience to include in his resume, still has the credentials to make the grade for the college department of his choice (Katz, Gillian “3 Great Reasons to Take a Gap Year and 3 Bad Reasons to take a Gap Year”). Now, taking into consideration all of the wrong reasons for a student and parents to give in to the lure of a gap year. There must be some truly good benefits from taking all 365 days off from school. Otherwise it would not be a very big deal for the others who have already successfully taken and used their gap year to advantageous results. Remember that the high school senior year is the most grueling of all high school years. The senior year is the academic year that concentrates on the general college subjects that are per-requisites to ...
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