Are Gap Years Worth Your Time? | Teen Ink

Are Gap Years Worth Your Time?

April 9, 2021
By teapavli SILVER, Tirana, Other
teapavli SILVER, Tirana, Other
7 articles 1 photo 0 comments

Many people don’t know what to do after finishing high school. The last year can be very stressful for students especially with university and college applications. The pressure of choosing the course that your life will take can make many students nervous and as a result, they can make a bad choice that they aren’t sure about. I personally haven't had to make this decision yet, but I did see my sister go through the stress of picking the right university for her so I thought to myself there must be another option. There is so much more to this situation than just applying. You need to decide where you want to live next, research all the possibilities that different universities offer, decide what kinds of jobs you would like to pursue, and even after all this research you still might not find yourself in any of the options. That’s why I think that everyone who isn’t sure of what they want to do should take a gap year to avoid all the stress and making the wrong decision.  

Taking a gap year is all about making new experiences and figuring out what you want to do in university or college. Many people might have a negative opinion on it, thinking that it will delay your education by one year, but it doesn’t have to be like that. On the contrary, taking a break from 12 years of school might be the thing you actually need to have a healthier and more efficient university and career experience. More universities are now encouraging the students to take a gap year after graduation and allow accepted applicants to enroll a year later. By taking a gap year you might avoid starting university and dropping out because you don’t like what you chose. Having a whole year to get to know yourself better out of school on your own terms and to also find clarity, might improve your performance when you enroll in university.  
However, you do need to plan your gap year because if you don’t do anything productive or something to help you grow in any way, the gap year might have a negative effect on you. A gap year can also be expensive, so you need to consider your options and opportunities before deciding on anything. Nevertheless, I think that the price is worth the experience because it is an investment in yourself. 

Having doubts and fears about taking a gap year is completely normal, but there are so many things that will for sure make your gap year the best opportunity for you to learn and grow as a person. One option is signing up for an internship or even a real job. There are many internship programs you mind find interesting which will build your idea of having a real job and being independent. Going off on your own and being completely independent might be scary, but it will prepare you for the best university experience. You could also do all these while traveling around the world visiting new places. And maybe who knows, you could fall in love with a place you want to live for the rest of your life in.  

In the end, the decision of whether continuing university or taking one year off is all yours to make. You need to consider your preferences and possibilities and figure out what would work best for you. In my opinion, if you're not completely sure of the path you want to take after high school, a gap year is the best choice for you. Volunteering in different places, taking internships, and traveling are all things that will enrichen your resume and help you feel complete after the year is done. However, you need to make sure you don’t get caught up in it and that you get back to college or university after your gap year is finished. When the time comes, I would love to consider taking a gap year myself if I'm not sure about how I want my future to continue. 

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