The advantages and disadvantages of taking a gap year before starting college

A gap year is essentially taking a year off before you go to the college to work, travel or do something different. The concept of taking a gap year before heading off to college isn’t too alien anymore. Parents and educators accept the gap year more if it is planned correctly. Now, many educational institutes across the world allow the students to defer their admissions for a year if they want to do so. Here are a few pros and cons of taking the gap year to help you figure out if it is for you.

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Pros of taking a gap year:

 

Become more focused

The break can help you figure out what exactly you want to do. It is a great way to find out your passion and then pursue that in the college. Not everyone is sure of what they want to do right out of high school. Therefore, a gap year can help you find the right direction, explore different career paths, and also find out what you don’t want to do.

 

Contribute towards your college finances

The college education is expensive, no matter where you go to. In your home country or abroad, paying for a college education can put a strain on your family’s finances. The gap year can be spent working and earning to contribute towards your college expenses. A job also looks good on your resume, since it gives you a real-life experience even before college.

 

Enriching life experiences

A gap year is a great time to have some enriching life experiences. This is also a good time to take up the responsibility you might not have before. During the gap year, you will be responsible for planning your life in a way that gives you value. Plus, independence is always greatly appreciated by teenagers. During this time, be open to the new experiences.

 

Cons of taking a gap year:

 

A year behind

Taking a gap year means you are a year behind your peers. You will also be a year behind on academics. However, this doesn’t necessarily have to be the make or break reason. The biggest problem is that once you get out of academics and studying, it might be difficult to get back to that same routine. So make sure you don’t lose that momentum when you go back to the college.

 

Expenses related to the gap year

The expenses related to the gap year depend on what you end up doing. If you plan to travel, your expenses might be on the higher side. If you have taken the year off to pursue a unique course, then you might have to consider how expensive it is. Even if you spend the year working, you still have to budget for the day-to-day expenses.

 

Planning the year properly

A gap year is successful only if you make it that way. Anything in excess is harmful including freedom. So take the year off only if you are sure you can plan it in a way that will enrich your life.

A gap year can be amazing or it can be a disaster. Before you decide to take a gap year, explore your options and plan it well in advance. Make sure your gap year adds something valuable to your life experiences.

 

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