Gap years are HOT. Having a gap year is starting to get as common as going on a two-week holiday. And it is not surprising. A year off between high school and college or taking a break from your studies can be a very refreshing break from monotonous school life. A Gap Year Before College can give you space to figure out what you would like to study. Or it gives you some reflection time after finishing your studies, before diving into the work world. Gap years are an awesome way to gain new knowledge, pursue personal growth, and reevaluate your goals.
Studies Show That Students Who Take A Gap Year Before College…
… feel more confident about their chosen studies. Research has shown that those who take a gap year before college have greater success than their counterparts. They usually stick with their original field of study more often than students who go straight into university and do not take time to truly consider what field they want to go into. Other studies reveal that students who take a gap year before college consistently perform better than students who go into college immediately upon graduating high school.
Other reasons for taking a gap year
Doing a gap year, especially doing it in a foreign country, is a great experience. You will have the chance to step out of your well-known environment and gain new experiences. One of the best ways to find out what you’re capable of is by leaving your comfort zone. Living in another culture broadens your horizons and can also improve your communication skills as you use your second language or learn to communicate with people who do not speak your language well. So other reasons to do a gap year before college are:
- Stepping out of your comfort zone and do things you have never done before
- Taking a break from your studies, do something different before going back to school
- Discovering and growing in your talents and learn more about yourself
- Get life experience by living away from home and from your safe environment
- Exploring the world while traveling
- Getting in touch with other cultures and guests from other religions
- Improving your English or other second languages
- Developing new communication skills
We see enough reasons why a gap year before college is a good idea. But before you start searching for gap year opportunities, consider these four questions.
4 Questions to Ask Yourself When Considering A Gap Year Before College
1. Ask yourself what you want to gain from your gap year
When you consider to have a gap year before college, ask yourself what you want to gain from your gap year. What kind of work would you like to do? What field of study are you interested in, and what kind of opportunities are available that can help further your interests? Are you most passionate about making new friends, learning a new culture or language, or learning practical skills? These questions can help you decide what kind of a gap year would work best for you.
2. Talk to your mentors, teachers, or parents
Talk to the people who know you and understand you – oftentimes, such people provide valuable insight into your life, and they can help you figure out if you should take a gap year before college or not. However, keep in mind that this stage of your life is all about the balance between independence and dependence.
3. Consult your financial status
Maybe you’ve been working these last few years, or maybe you need to work for an income. In either case, don’t forget to plan out your finances for the next year when considering a gap year before college. Remember, most people underestimate how much they will spend, and you want to be prepared financially to start college after your gap year!
4. Pray about taking a gap year
When considering a gap year before college, don’t forget to seek God and listen if He’s calling you somewhere in particular. A gap year before college could be the perfect time to get involved in ministry, to grow in your faith or to serve God in a practical way. Since we are a Christian organization that offers a Christian gap year opportunity as well, we consider this as the most important part of your decision. What better way is there to prepare for college than to learn how to share your faith and get rooted in your relationship with God?