Should I take a gap year after high school?

More and more, the idea of a “gap year” is becoming more common. Instead of going straight into college after graduating high school, some seniors are taking a year off from schooling to participate in other activities.

What are some ways to spend a gap year?

Many students use a gap year to take a break from schooling and experience the real world. For many, this means finding a job and working a standard week. But how do weekly or monthly earnings compare to hourly pay? Check out this paycheck calculator.  The idea here is that it gives you a taste of what your life could be like if you don’t attend college.

If you dislike what you’re doing, you’ll probably be more motivated in college (and you’ll have saved up some good money to help cover the cost). If you’re happy with your job, perhaps college isn’t for you.

Other students spend gap years participating in unique activities. Some travel abroad, volunteering their time to various causes. Others will try to take their lives down a few different paths to see what feels best, such as starting a small business or participating in an internship.

What do colleges think about gap years?

The way colleges look at a gap year during your application probably depends very heavily on how you spent that time. If you didn’t really do anything during that year besides sitting around at home, it’s almost definitely going to reflect badly on you. It shows laziness and that you waste good opportunities.

However, if you spent the time well, such as participating in something you couldn’t have done during high school, I believe colleges will look on it very favorably. Whereas most high school seniors will only have grades and some extra-curricular activities to show, you’ll have a pretty unique experience that could bring a lot to that school.

Is a gap year for me?

I believe that if you don’t have specific activities in mind for your year, a gap year probably isn’t your best choice when it comes to strengthening your application. While volunteering and traveling abroad will look great, hanging around your hometown probably won’t bring anything to the table.

However, if you truly feel burnt out after high school and need a break for yourself, a gap year can help you find yourself. You’ll possibly be more motivated in college and do better.

I think I’d like to take one!

Looking around online, you can find some very interesting ideas.