Is The Gap Year Worth It?

Not enough points on the SAT or simply have not yet decided on the direction of further study? At such times, graduates have a dilemma: should they apply to university this summer (just to get somewhere) or postpone their application to next year? One solution is to take a gap year, a year-long break between school and college. You can do it all later – enter college, meet new people, make connections, “pay someone to write my paper so that I can go to that student party,” etc.

We will tell you the pros and cons of applying after one year.

A little bit of history

The tradition of taking a gap year began in the middle of the 20th century in Great Britain. Young people went to university, but before studying, they traveled for a year to explore life. Later the tradition spread to other countries. Students in Western countries use a gap year to earn money, learn additional skills, or participate in volunteer programs.

Benefits of gap year


The gap year between high school and college is a chance to catch your breath after an exhausting race. In grades 10 and 11, you must study, participate in contests, take additional core classes, listen to courses to prepare for the SAT, and pass exams simultaneously. The mental stress and moral pressure lead to physical and mental exhaustion, which can become a severe problem in the first year of high school. A year later, you will study more fruitfully when you have rested and gained strength.

You will also take your mental stability in college more seriously after a gap year. You will then understand that it is much better to find your best college essay writing service to take care of a significant part of your homework assignments. So, you can take proper rest.

Opportunity to retake the SAT

It makes sense to take a year if your SAT scores are not high enough. This is relevant for applicants who have also decided to change their direction. The free year will also be helpful for those who did not get enough points for the additional entrance or creative test. You can better prepare and enroll in your chosen field during the year.

Clarifying your goals

Not every schoolchild understands by the end of the 11th grade what they want to be and where they want to go. If you have doubts, a gap year will help you clarify your goals and decide on the direction. The primary condition is to spend it actively: try yourself in different fields, and master new things. When you understand what you want, you won’t have any more problems with laziness. The right goal is the best motivation!

Gaining experience

You can use your gap year to get a job to get to know your profession better, learn new skills, and have more confidence in your choices when applying to college. Even a job outside your field will make you more confident and teach you how to communicate with people and make responsible decisions. An early start in your career will also be an advantage after graduation – you will have the experience essential to employers.


The drawbacks of gap year

Social pressure

Entering college right after high school is considered a sign of success. If you skip a gap year, you may face misunderstandings from parents, relatives, classmates, and teachers.

How to deal with the pressure:

  • Decide for yourself why you are skipping a year;
  • Formulate a plan for how you are going to use the gap year;
  • Find arguments for your position and be able to convey them.

Paying for expenses

To have a productive year, you must make a clear plan and discuss the financial issue. Ask your parents if they are willing to support you. Specific steps will depend on your goals: you might need money for tutoring or courses, employment assistance, or buying educational materials. It’s one thing if you work and earn money, and quite another if you have to be supported during the year. All this should be discussed with your parents in advance.

Loss of motivation to enroll

The professional writers from the best writing services say it is also quite common for a person to find out that they no longer want to go to college at least soon after a year. For example, if you got a job in your specialty, you like earning money and being independent.

But it is possible and the worst: after a year, you have relaxed, lose the desire to learn, do not want to go through the hassle of admission, and postpone the test for another year, then another and another. The longer you procrastinate, the harder it will be to start preparing and motivating yourself.

What to remember

  1. The tradition of taking a gap year – a free year before college – exists in many countries worldwide. During this time, students work, travel, and volunteer.
  1. A gap year is an opportunity to rest and recuperate before studying in high school, retake the SAT, and better prepare for an exam or a creative test.
  1. You can try your hand at a profession and gain the necessary experience during the year.
  1. If you decide to skip a year, you risk facing misunderstanding or condemnation from those around you. To successfully withstand the pressure, you must be confident in yourself and your decision.
  1. To have a fruitful free year, you must plan everything carefully – calculate time and money.
  1. It is psychologically more difficult to go through the year.
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Gabriella is a licensed educational psychologist and a mental wellness advocate. She specializes in conducting psychological, cognitive, educational, social-emotional, and functional behavioral assessments for children K-12. These assessments are used to identify and diagnose educational and mental health issues, such as ADHD, learning disabilities, autism spectrum disorders, developmental delays, and emotional disabilities. She also provides individual and group counseling, crises counseling services, and parent consultation and training. She lives and works in New York.


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