For some high school students, especially seniors, college doesn’t always feel like the right next step for them, despite what they have been told for the past four years. Whether they aren’t sure about what they want to go to college for or if they simply feel academically burnt out, gap years are becoming more popular and normalized here in America. They allow students to gain experience, learn more about themselves, travel, and become more independent. Usually, they come back with energy and motivation towards pursuing a career or going to college.
But what do people do during this year? Well, it depends why you decided to post-pone college or work. If its because they feel like they need to have experience and see the world, they travel. Many young adults like to backpack through multiple countries, while some spend their year abroad staying mostly in one place and learning about the language and culture. There are many programs made specifically for gap-year students so they can travel or study abroad. This time away from familiar settings can inspire and rejuvenate those who were never able to travel before and can lead them to a career they are interested in. Having time to really think about what you want to do in the future can make you feel more confident when you do decide to go to college or pursue a career.
While many people believe that taking a year away from traditional studies can cause you to lose academic momentum, statistics have shown that those who did take a gap year had overall higher grades. This time to practice something you are passionate about, whether for travel or simply to work, gives your mind a deserved break from the typical classroom setting and can allow for tremendous personal growth.