Should students take a gap year?
A gap year is a break student take after high school before joining universities or colleges. After the rigorous training in high schools, some students prefer taking time off by having an active holiday outside a school environment. Some universities recommend the gap year to students joining the schools. After reception of the joining letters, students can always apply for a delay time before their entry in such universities. The delay time is considered by some learners as a way of taking a break from tests, assignments, and homework. A gap year can have its benefits and limitations depending on how one plan the gap year.
A gap year is considered by many students and parents as a recharging period i.e. it’s a time where students replenish their academic desires and efforts. Most students who take the gap year return to classroom environment with vigor and new focus to excel in class. During the gap year, students take their time to look back at their academic life to know the challenges they faced in school and work on how to overcome the challenges. This is a beneficial factor for a gap year as academic performance depends on how best one can focus.
Learning and exploring new activities, e.g. volunteering, taking part in community work, joining local football clubs, learning foreign languages, etc., is also a benefit associated with a gap year. These new activities help students learn new skills applicable to their future lives in college or elsewhere. Working with the community makes students appreciate and understand their culture better. Working with the community and other people also boosts the confidence of students because of working with people of diverse ages and knowledge. Also, traveling and learning new language make students more socialized. All these skills and qualities gained as a result of going abroad or working as volunteer etc. help in dealing with a variety of students in college and also raise ones’ professional experience.
With a gap year, students get the opportunity to work towards the college and course of their desire. A student may be rejected by a university of his desire but the kind of work the student take during the gap year can interest the admission board of the college. For example, a student interested in pursuing a course of community development can get his gap year working for the community as a volunteer; this will interest the admission board as the individual will be considered experienced and relevant to the course.
A gap year can be very destructive to a student’s life if not well planned. A student may involve himself in harmful activities, such as drug abuse, crime, etc. since the student has excess time. This will affect the student negatively to the extent of totally leaving school.
Also, a gap year can lead to some individuals’ academic derailment. People who don’t take some classes during the gap might find academic life hard to bear after the gap. Not taking a few classes will affect their academic performance and focus negatively.
Therefore, before taking a gap year students need to have clear plans on what they want to accomplish during that time. Students need to get engaged during the gap year to avoid negative energy on drugs and crimes. Even, though the students are free from classrooms and exams, they still need to take a few classes during the holidays. This will keep them academically focused. In general, a gap year is relevant to students and students should be encouraged to take it.