OPINION: High school students should take a gap year to explore, learn about self

Students have big decisions to make regarding their future. Some may take a break from school while others might go right into college. Photo by Breanna Biorato

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For an easier transition into college, students should consider taking a gap year.

For some students, 13 years of school may not be enough to decide what they want to go on to do in their adult lives. Taking a gap year to gain experience in the real world can help better prepare students for college. 

I graduated from high school early and took a year off before going to college because I had no idea what I wanted to study. 

I had the opportunity to move across the country to Boston and spend a few months there before starting college in the fall of 2018. I was living with my sister at the time and had no idea what I wanted to do once I started school. I was looking into what majors would best fit my personality and what interested me the most. 

The gap year gave me time to experience working full time without having to worry about the stress of school. It also gave me time to experiment with my hobbies and passions, resulting in my love for media studies.

Taking a year off only benefits those who use it as an opportunity to grow and gain more knowledge. Using the time to get a feel for what the working world is actually like and growing your resume is a great way of using your time wisely before working toward a degree. An article from Accreditedschoolsonline.org gives you the pros and cons of taking a gap year and could help you decide whether taking a gap year is the right choice for you.

Taking a gap year can also help expand your friend group from just school friendships that are usually made by circumstance rather than desire.  

During my gap year, I met people who were from all over the world and they have become some of the best friends I have. These friendships are limitless in terms of conversation and not just relating to common school topics.

Living in Boston also gave me the opportunity to explore a different environment than what I was used to. A big city is very different from the culture here in Utah. It made me appreciate where I live now because it isn’t as chaotic as a city that seems to never sleep. An article from Value Colleges suggests exploring new scenery.

While taking a gap year can be beneficial for some students, it doesn’t mean it’s the right choice for every student. Going from high school straight to college may be more beneficial for students to keep the flow of school going; however, not all students are the same and taking a breather from school can help students take a step back and analyze their options.