Gap year, pros and cons

Emely Martinez, Plaid Truth Staff

With many students taking gap years each year, it is important to know the pros and cons of it. Knowing so may help to decide whether or not you want to take a year off before college. 

A gap year, by definition, is a year-long break before attending college/ university. During this time, students typically engage in a variety of productive activities. Some of the most common ones include working and traveling, although activities done during this time frame vary from person to person. Gap years, however, come with multiple benefits as well as disadvantages. 

 As mentioned, taking gap years can be very beneficial for many reasons. For one, it gives students more time to work and save up money before entering school. Secondly, it allows students to do things that they want and have a chance to fulfill their wants. Traveling and moving to another part of the world can also be a reason to think about taking a gap year, as students won’t have this opportunity when they are in school. Apart from these reasons, choosing to take a gap year can allow students to have more time for themselves and discover the direction they want to pursue in life. “Gap years can help give clarity while you are transitioning from being a teenager to a young adult,” said college and career counselor Brittany Hong. 

Of course, taking a gap year can come with some drawbacks. First and foremost, choosing to take a break before returning to school can throw you off guard when it comes to discovering yourself and your ambitions. “Most often, life gets busy and you can find yourself not returning to college or trade school,” said Hong. Gap years can lead students into rethinking their goals and what exactly they want out of their future. Students may also find themselves struggling with finding their desire in life if they are working too much and it may seem confusing as to whether or not they want to go to college. On a different note, taking a gap year may not be so appealing to some people because it will set you behind from your peers since you are not going to college immediately from high school. 

To some students, the pros in gap years outweigh the cons. “I would probably take a year off from school that we’ve been attending since we were five,” said junior Alice Rodriguez. “It would give me time to think about how to work things out for college.” From a different perspective, some students may not choose to take a gap year because the cons can interfere with the beneficial aspects of it.