Gap Years: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Gap Years: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

( – High school graduation is an exciting time in life. There’s a lot to plan for and look forward to. For most soon-to-be grads, college life or some form of higher education is a typical choice. But some kids are deciding to take a bit of a break and explore life before diving into post-secondary school. These are called the gap years. Is this for you?

What You Could Do

There is nothing written in stone that you need to go to college fresh out of high school. In fact, this is a great time to experience life in ways you might not get to do later on once adulting takes full effect. So what could you do to fill your time?

  • Take a trip. You’re young. Now is the time to explore other countries or maybe engage in a missionary trip.
  • Keep working. This is helpful if you need to save more for your college or living expenses.
  • Live somewhere else. Maybe a cousin in Brazil has invited you to move in for the summer. A gap year in college would be the perfect time to do it.
  • Take some condensed classes. Vocational or online classes allow you to speed through a course and gain some experience to put on your resume.

No matter what you decide to do, it’s your life and your choice.

The Good

The best part about taking a year off from college or school is that you get to experience life in the here and now. Once college life sets in and graduation is over, it’s time to start your career job, so you may not have the time to go out and experience the world on your terms. The good news is you can do it now!

The Bad

There is a bit of a bad side to taking a gap year. The biggest one is you lose a semester or two of higher education. This means it will take you that much longer to get your degree. If you choose this, keep the lapse in mind and how it will affect the timing of your graduation.

The Downright Ugly

What could possibly be so ugly about taking a little time off of college? Well, it could affect any type of funding you’re counting on for tuition. This starts with scholarships that may have strict attendance restrictions on them. In addition, some forms of financial aid may be dropped altogether if you don’t return to school in a timely manner.

These are all important factors to consider moving forward. You have a big decision to make, but keep in mind that it’s not the end-all. If taking time off from college is going to enrich you, you need to consider that option. You only have one shot at life — there are no rewrites — so make sure you’re feeding your soul every step of the way.

Here’s to Your Success!

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