Gap Year– a good idea?

Douglas Wallace, Staff Reporter

During the Covid-19 pandemic many high school seniors are thinking about taking a gap year. A gap year is a year in which students take a year off between high school and college.  Instead of attending school, most students spend that year working, traveling, or doing internships.

A gap year can have many positives and negatives to it. One of the positives of taking a gap year is that students can get a job and start to save some money. According to Time Magazine, the job market is pretty bleak but there are still many companies hiring now. With taking a gap year, students have nothing but time so hours can be flexible. If they cannot find a job, there are always plenty of places to volunteer.  Not only are you helping others by volunteering, but students can learn new helpful skills and perhaps become interested in future activities and events to continue giving back to the community.

Another positive for taking a gap year is that students can spend this time bettering yourself. Many students take a gap year to develop personal skills from home, such as cooking, learning a second language, or developing a hobby or craft for a future side business.  Working on a passion project can help students develop skills that will be helpful in finding a job.

While taking a gap year can be helpful for some students, other students may find that a gap year poses more problems then it solves. For students taking a gap year ten percent of teens do not return to college.  This may seem like a low number, however, when you consider that 57% of students do not finish college, that 10% does not seem so low.  Also, taking a gap year can mean loosing the momentum students had built to further their education which could make it harder to go back to school when they need to do so.  Some students who take a gap year end up not spending the time in a productive way, making it harder for that person to go back to school or join the work force.  This could lead to bigger problems of debt due to lack of motivation.

Taking a gap year can be helpful time period for students, but if not planned properly, this year can end up being more of a hindrance than a benefit.  If you are a senior contemplating this, make a plan and stick with it.  Then get yourself back to school.