Gap Years Prove to be Beneficial

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As high school is coming to an end for seniors, most have announced their college of choice. But how about those who opt to take a year off?

The stereotype that gap years are for students who just want a year off to party and slack off is a false one. In reality, the travel, learning experience and in-depth exploration of the world around us are among many reasons for taking a gap year, and they can all suit any type of person.

It was recently announced that President Barack Obama’s daughter Malia made the decision to take a gap year after graduating from Sidwell Friends school this year. She then plans to continue her education at Harvard the following year. Malia is a perfect example of proving the slacker and party-goer stereotype wrong, showing that pragmatic and motivated individuals can also benefit from a gap year.

The popularity of gap years has been steadily increasing, with many students opting to take a year off of school rather than going straight to college. The American Gap Association (AGA) conducted a study in 2014 that demonstrated the steady growth and diversity of the American student population taking a gap year.

Really, who says gap years are for just one kind of person or experience? They truly are not. AGA’s study concluded that 92 percent of “gappers” surveyed wanted to gain life experiences as well as gain a sense of personal growth, explore a budding passion for travel and adventure (85 percent) or just take a break from the traditional academic track (81 percent).

Senior Zoe Salteris plans to do all three of these things on her upcoming gap year trip across Europe’s Mediterranean coast of Greece and Italy, among her other plans for the year. Salteris said she is excited to “be able to do what [she] wants to but hasn’t had time to,” something that would be difficult to do during a collegiate year.

Another assumption regarding gap years is that they are only for the adventurous and bold, but according to RHSa�� gap year alumni, one size fits all. Alumna Betsy Gorman (a��14) made the decision to take a gap year and traveled across central Europe after graduating.

“I would 100 percent recommend a gap year to anyone,” Gorman said, as she learned so much about herself and the world around her during her journey.

Similarly, alumnus Spencer Brigman (a��15) recommends a gap year to any individual. Brigman took his gap year all the way across the globe in New Zealand, a decision following a stressful senior year. He said college was looming over and an opportunity to play football in college arose, but the stress of school and the call for adventure was much stronger.

“I became a much more knowledgeable person,” Brigman said.

From the excitement of entering an unknown world far away from home, to the unforgettable memories made along the way, all who are planning to take or have taken a gap year can agree that a year off is an absolutely unforgettable and beneficial experience.

 

ORIGINAL ARTICLE

 

As high school is coming to an end for seniors, most have announced their college of choice. But how about those who opt to take a year off?

The stereotype that gap years are for students who just want a year off to party and slack off is a false one. In reality, the travel, learning experience and in-depth exploration of the world around us are among many reasons for taking a gap year, and they all suit any type of person.

It was recently announced that President Barack Obama’s daughter Malia made the decision to take a gap year after graduating from Sidwell Friends school this year. She then plans to continue her education at Harvard the following year. Malia is a perfect example of proving the slacker and party-goer stereotype wrong, showing that pragmatic and motivated individuals can also benefit from a gap year.

The popularity of gap years has been steadily increasing, with many students opting to take a year off of school rather than going straight to college. The American Gap Association (AGA), an organization dedicated to researching student gap year statistics, conducted a study in 2014 that demonstrated the steady growth and diversity of the American student population taking a gap year.

Really, who says gap years are for just one kind of person or experience? They truly are not. AGA’s study concluded that 92 percent of “gappers” surveyed wanted to gain life experiences as well as gain a sense of personal growth, explore a budding passion for travel and adventure (85 percent) or just take a break from the traditional academic track (81 percent).

Senior Zoe Salteris plans to do all three of these things on her upcoming gap year trip across Europe’s Mediterranean coast of Greece and Italy, among her other plans for the year. Salteris said she is excited to “be able to do what [she] wants to but hasn’t had time to,” something that would difficult to do during a collegiate year.

Gap years are a perfect opportunity for time off after an exhausting academic year, and are an extremely rewarding experience for a future academic path. According to AGA, gappers report that through the summary of their experiences they were “better able to identify universities that fit their personalities and career ambitions.”

Another assumption regarding gap years is that they are only for the adventurous and bold, but according to RHSa�� gap year alumni, one size fits all. Alumna Betsy Gorman (a��14) made the decision to take a gap year and traveled across central Europe after graduating.

“I would 100 percent recommend a gap year to anyone,” Gorman said, as she learned so much about herself and the world around her during her journey.

Similarly, alumnus Spencer Brigman (a��15) recommends a gap year to any individual. Brigman took his gap year all the way across the globe in New Zealand, a decision following a stressful senior year. He said college was looming over and an opportunity to play football in college arose, but the stress of school and the call for adventure was much stronger.

“I became a much more knowledgeable person,” Brigman said.

Taking a gap year has proven to actually aid students in their academics and overall college experience. Gorman said her gap year gave her a whole new perspective into what she wanted to pursue as a career path, as prior to taking her year off, she never imagined pursuing speech therapy as a career.

From the excitement of entering an unknown world far away from home to the unforgettable memories made along the way, all who are planning to take or have taken a gap year can agree that a year off is an absolutely unforgettable and beneficial experience.

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