Taking a gap year is one of the most controversial decisions a student can make. Parents, teachers, and guardians often expect that you’re ready to take on all academic challenges in college and maintain a healthy social, work, and academic life.
However, that is rarely the case. To keep a good balance, students often seek academic assistance, looking for online help with queries like “can someone write my case study for me”. Taking a break when the going gets tough or you have a few self-discoveries to make is important.
Let’s learn how taking a gap year can help you find focus and improve your academic and future career life.
What is a Gap Year?
A gap year is a period taken by a student away from academic life to focus on self-discovery by engaging in other experiences such as traveling. The purpose is to discover new interests that may lead them to pursue new academic or professional goals or be more prepared for challenges in their current academic and professional path.
Many learners prefer to take their gap year during their transition from high school to college. This is often the case because recent high school graduates feel overwhelmed by the pressure of choosing a college and career path at such a young age and in a short period. According to the survey published in the Wall Street Journal, the two top reasons for taking a gap year were students experiencing burnout from the competitive pressure of high school and wanting to learn more about themselves.
However, a gap year can be taken at any point in your academic life to give you some extra time for self-discovery and to weigh whether your current academic and career path is well-suited for the future you wish to pursue.
For instance, you can take your gap year during college or between graduate and undergraduate studies.
The benefits of taking a gap year can be immense. For high school graduates, some research shows 45% feel more prepared after a gap year, with 59% stating that it increased their interest in joining college.
A gap year doesn’t necessarily have to be one year long. Students can take a reasonably long time out of college until they feel prepared to resume their studies.
Questions You Should Ask Yourself Before Taking a Gap Year
Since taking a gap year affects your current academic path, it’s crucial that you ask yourself a few questions to assess whether you’re prepared for it.
How Will It Benefit You?
A gap year offers students opportunities for development. You can choose to pursue employment, travel, volunteer, or take some time off to decompress.
A gap year can also gear you towards more independence and improve your confidence as you get back to formal education. This will often improve the quality of education and how much you get out of your studies.
Therefore, judging from the possible pros, you should feel that you’re making the right investment in yourself by taking the gap year.
What Are Your Plans During the Gap Year?
Before taking time off from school, figure out what you want to do. You can opt to work, rest, stay at home, or travel. If you’re planning to travel, for instance, do online research and start making your travel plans early. Create a solid budget, get all the necessary documents, and make early reservations.
If you plan on working or volunteering, start filling out applications early to get early responses. Decide whether you’re looking for an internship or entry-level employment. With a good plan, you’ll be able to make the most out of the gap year and feel more fulfilled.
Can You Make It Work Financially?
A gap year has financial implications. If you are working through the gap year, you’ll typically have less to worry about since you can cover the interest of student loans still accruing during this period. However, students earning an income often qualify for less need-based aid once they resume school.
If you’re planning to travel or volunteer, you must account for travel, accommodation, or volunteering costs. If you don’t have a steady income in the form of a job or stipend from your family, you may have to accrue credit card debt that may have long-term effects beyond college, depending on how much you borrow.
Some schools offer a gap year fund to students, so ensure you’ve asked the administration what financial perks may be available for you and under what repayment terms.
What Are Your Plans for College Later?
Thinking about your college plans before a gap year can be seen as putting the cart before the horse. However, in some cases, you may be confident about the college but unsure about the course you wish to pursue.
For such a case, you can apply for admission and then request a year-long deferment once the application has been accepted.
However, if unsure, you can wait until later into the gap year to start making applications after you’ve figured out your academic direction. For such a case, you should take part of the gap year researching universities, courses, and financial aid options online.
What is Your Transition Plan Out of the Gap Year?
Your gap year can take you on unprecedented professional and personal paths. However, it is important that you have a transition plan back to education.
Resuming school requires you to have a bigger picture of your education and the gap year. Before making plans to resume education, ask yourself:
- Is a gap year right for me?
- What would the gap year do for me and how will it affect my studies?
Benefits of a Gap Year
A gap year benefits your academic life and career in the following ways.
Better Academic Future
A gap year directly influences your academic decision-making and future performance. According to research conducted at Middlebury College in Vermont and the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, gap-year students tend to perform between 0.1 to 0.4 better on a 4.0 scale against other students. These performance benefits go over the full four-year period.
Most professors perceive gap-year students to be more mature, independent, and self-reliant than non-gap-year students. Maturity and self-reliance facilitate strong academic success. Gap-year students also get more motivated and interested in their study areas.
Better Employability and Job Satisfaction
Research shows that 88% of students who’ve taken a gap year have reported significant improvement in their employability and job satisfaction. This was attributed to their selfless approach to working with students and colleagues, a quality they acquired during their gap year.
A gap year gives young people time to think about their education and career and develop strong skills to enable their success in these areas. It builds their resume in a very competitive market by improving their focus and enabling them to appear polished and mature to potential employers.
Therefore, the student is guaranteed long-term happiness in the field.
Refresh Yourself with a Planned Gap Year
Taking a gap year is not a crime. A gap year is a perfect way to realign yourself with your interests and professional and academic goals and position yourself for long-term academic and professional success. Moreover, you get more satisfaction knowing you’re doing what you truly love.
As part of your gap year, you can also schedule to listen to top educational podcasts and keep in touch with academic life while pondering your transition back. You can also rest easy knowing that despite the still busy life of the modern student, you can get academic help online for assignments such as my case study through reputable websites such as Studybay or EssayPro.