Gap Year: Extended time, So Beneficial It Is a Crime

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Rylee

Junior, Clementine Neral Robertson browses the widespread gap year travel opportunities

To many, college may seem like the obvious and inexplicably clear choice following our foundational years of education. College holds an abundance of both academic and extracurricular opportunities that can shape a person and help prepare them to move into their choice of future. To others, the immediate passage into the work industry, apprenticeships, or alternative options could be appealing. Equally remarkable, the choice of a gap year is a time to break from school for a proclaimed period of time in order to decide on either option.
A gap year, essentially, is a year-long break that students may take, either prior to or after, attending a university or college. Gap years allow students to take a well-needed academic break through various experiences such as travel, work, or other pursuits. Additionally, this year allows individuals to further align their focus regarding their future, and experience once-in-a-lifetime time opportunities.
Gap years often provide additional time to reevaluate and reflect on life decisions through the lens of a new perspective regarding the world. Possible factors such as the study of a new language, community work, and established environmental or urban travel contribute to the intangible earnings within the gain of these new perspectives. According to Amigos, studies have noted that “students who take a gap year often have higher GPAs and are more involved in campus life,” compared to other students. This discovery could be a result of the extended time within this year to mature and process a newfound engagement within other cultures.
According to ‘The Gap Year Association,’ respondents acknowledged what they regarded as the most significant impacts of their year. 85% of respondents said “travel, experiencing other cultures” held significance and 92% recognized their “personal growth and gain in life experience.” This is alongside a multitude of other benefits such as work experience, exploration of career and study opportunities, voluntary tasks, and more time to process within the break from an academic track.

Whether it be college, a gap year, or any other decision following our years at Aspen High School, there is no doubt that there is room everywhere to individually grow through any circumstance. This positive influence is created through the essence of uniquely acquired experiences shared with one another.”

These incentives are found in various gap year programs, given as a list of possibilities by Career Guide which details the different programs students can participate in. These programs include the Global Citizen Year, Seamester on the ocean, the High Mountain Institute, Pacific Discovery, and other options that help students experience valuable, personal encounters beyond the range of the past. Additionally, WheretherebeDragons provides international programs in order to enhance self-awareness, leadership, and global engagement. Gap years are distinguished apart from normal travel, as they are usually taken in the duration of a college period when there are fewer responsibilities and more time to focus on what you want your future to look like based upon the broad expanse of the world, within interactive homestays. There are a substantial amount of programs worldwide that allow students to take part in these immersive opportunities and impactfully influence the world around them.
On the other hand, this academic break could pose possible challenges to students who might feel behind compared to peers alongside the potential travel expenses, and a tedious transition back into the student and work life. Taking a year off can take students off their progressive track. However, according to Post University, research suggests that 90% of students who go through a gap year prior to studies end up attending college afterward.
Overall, the choice of plans following high school deeply depends upon the individual and the best possible decision for them personally. Within a gap year and immersive travel, there is a chance to establish more knowledge regarding the world as well as opportunity to prepare one’s self proceeding into a pervasively optimistic future. Whether it be college, a gap year, or any other decision following our years at Aspen High School, there is no doubt that there is room everywhere to individually grow through any circumstance. This positive influence is created through the essence of uniquely acquired experiences shared with one another.