It used to be only for the wealthy who were “taking a gap year” or “traveling for the year” before college. But it is now such a normal break to have in your educational career. You have applied and were accepted to college, but you aren’t sure exactly what you plan to do in college. Or maybe you need a year. Taking a gap year has its benefits, especially in this current way of life we are in.
Deciding at 18 (or 17) what you want to do for the rest of your life is not an easy decision. In fact, if you speak with adults in their 30’s you will find that they look back at 18-year-olds as such young humans that have so much ahead of them.
At 18, you graduate, then rush off to college, graduate from college at 22, and then are supposed to love your life and your career. At 18, your life is barely getting started, and although you are considered an adult, you don’t even fully make adult choices until you are much older. It is a great idea to take a gap year after high school for many reasons.
- Gives you time to think about what you want to do
You can delay your college entrance for a year and take a year to figure out what you really want to do. Maybe you will use this year to check out different careers.
- Take an educational vacation
Now is the best time to take a worry-free vacation and add in a year of education. You could travel to different locations, spend a year abroad, or enjoy yourself.
- Make money
If you want to make some money before heading to college, you could spend a year making money and saving it for the following year. This is the first time in your life you could give a job your full time and dedication. This may be a great time to also work in the potential space you may think of working in in the future.
- Spend time with family
Eighteen sounds old, but it’s still so young. You have spent your high school career busy with friends and growing as a person. Why not spend a year with your family, enjoying them and being around them uninterrupted. Maybe take a few family trips or spend time at the park together. You will enjoy talking to them about the future and learning life skills from them.
- Decide your future
You may have decided to go to a large university, and then after a year, you may decide a smaller, more inexpensive college may be a better idea.
- Take some classes
Before getting into college full-time, you can always take some classes in the degree you may want in the future.
- Work for the family business
Now is the best time to see what your family’s business is and get an idea of what it may be like in the future. It may be something you want to take over, or you may want to go in a different direction.
Most of our lives are rush rush rush. We don’t stop until it’s too late, and we have tried to meet every “normal” milestone according to life. You go to school, go to college, get a job, get married, have kids, retire. This path is not for everyone, and every person does their path differently.
Some feel when they get to those later life stages that they never took a moment for themselves or a chance to really breathe. The best part of this time period is everyone is open to differences and not expecting the old-school lifestyle path. If you can take one year to give yourself a break, you will be giving yourself a jump on your future.