Issue 12  •  Spring 2013

Is a Gap Year Still a Good Option?
Posted on  July 1st, 2013
by Alex Schnee

With recent graduations, more and more students face the problem of a struggling economy. We might wonder whether or not the traditional idea of a “gap year”—or a year away from school either after high school or college—is a good one or not. Many young people are starting their jobs soon out of college and high school—skipping the route of taking a year to travel, chill, and think about what steps they want to take next.

Though it might seem like taking a year off is becoming increasingly unpractical, and in some cases, unaffordable, young people thinking about taking some time off shouldn’t immediately throw the idea out the window. On a blog for the New York Times, a student expresses his concern about being away from the United States college environment, “What I’m torn about is the idea of losing a whole year of college to be in a foreign country where I wouldn’t technically be studying to prepare myself for the real world. The year abroad would be an extension of high school–just for the experience, and not for any sort of credit anywhere.” (Read the full post here.)

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Even after four years of a concentrated major (and even with an awesome career in mind), you might still be at a loss of what you want to do with it. Also, the reality that graduate school is now becoming necessary for most top-paying careers can affect how much time you want to spend working before you go back to school.

Taking a year to work a part-time job, do some exploring, and enjoying where you are can not only help prepare for your future ahead, but it can also introduce you a whole bunch of opportunities that you might not have known about by going straight into the traditional workforce. By budgeting during your high school or undergraduate school, looking into grants, programs, and scholarships, it’s possible to find a way to take a year off and travel. It might not be entirely possible in some circumstances, but it might be worth it to think of taking some time off before you take your next step of your life.

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