4 Reasons To Take A Gap Year Now
Last updated January 16, 2021
Recent events have led to the upheaval of the entire landscape of college education. Campuses are shut down, and now, any higher education that’s taking place is happening online only. There’s a very real chance that many colleges will continue being conducted exclusively online during some or all of the 2020-21 school year - and if that doesn’t gel with your learning style, financial concerns, or for any other reason, you might consider a gap year. Here are four reasons you should think about taking a gap year.
Remember: If you do decide to take a gap year, and have already applied to college - ACCEPT an offer of admission, but ask to defer admission for a year so you can take your gap year and then immediately matriculate.
1. You don’t know what Fall 2020 will look like.
We just don’t know what college 2020-21 will look like. Many campuses may remain shut, and online/distance learning could be the main medium for instruction. Sports, events, clubs, etc. may also remain on pause. So much of college life might not be available. Not knowing what college will look like in the fall might have you question committing the time and money to attending college right now. Taking a gap year to work, save money, earn credits at a local community college, or even travel via gap year enrichment programs is a great option while you wait for a return to normalcy.
2. You want to earn or save money
The high overall cost of attending college means most students take on debt to receive an education. Working and saving money for a year can help reduce the overall amount you need to borrow. And even though the job market is tough, there are still companies hiring and other creative ways to earn money while working from home.
A gap year may also give your family time to recover from the recent economic fallout if they’ve been impacted. But remember - if your family has been affected by COVID-19, you are very likely to be eligible to receive more financial aid - learn how here.
3. A gap year can allow you time to figure out your goals and what you want your life/career to look like.
Taking time to live, work, and possibly travel during a gap year brings many students much-needed clarity about what they want to do with their lives after high school. Attending college is expensive, and you’ll need to choose your degree path within 1-2 years of matriculating. For many, the type of degree they pursue informs their direction in life - making it more than just a huge monetary investment! Taking a gap year to figure things out can be a great decision.
4. You want to give back, learn, or try something new
There are many formal gap year programs that offer the opportunity to travel and work in unique places, with room and board covered in exchange for your efforts or labor. If you’re looking for new experiences, have a special career interest, or just want to travel while building your resume, check out our in-depth breakdown of gap year programs here.