Pros and Cons of Taking a Gap Year After High School

One option high school graduates have is to take a gap year before they begin applying to colleges. This can be a great decision for some students and a bad one for others. Consider these important pros and cons before deciding whether to take a gap year once you graduate high school.

Pro: Take a Break

Instead of going straight from the rigors of high school into the rigors of college, many students benefit from taking a break. Students can take a gap year to refresh, revitalize and even travel. Taking a gap year can offer some amazing, fantastic experiences. You can go abroad, connect with friends and mentally gear up for college—both the application process and attending.

Con: Lost Momentum

One of the dangers of taking a gap year is the loss of momentum. Many students get working and ultimately decide not to go back to school at all, which can decrease future career options. If you do go on to attend college after a year, having taken a break can mean you’ve forgotten some of the things you learned in high school and may impede your classwork in college. You may also lose access to some of the college planning resources offered by your high school.

Pro: You Can Work

With the cost of college being so high, taking a gap year to work and earn money to put towards college can be a serious advantage. Doing so can help reduce the student debt you eventually graduate with so your finances will be healthier. Aside from the money, working in general labor jobs can give you valuable professional experience you can put on your resume when you finally graduate college. This will make it more likely you will land a job soon after graduation. You can also save money so when you go to school  you can focus in your studies without having to work during the semester.

Con: It Pushes You a Year Behind

Another serious negative to a gap year is that it puts you a year behind. This can make it difficult to watch friends and other students who are your age stay a year ahead of you and graduate first. You may be more emotionally mature than the people in your graduating class, making it more difficult to form social bonds.

Taking a gap year, like any other decision regarding your education, has its pros and cons. Before deciding one way or the other, be sure to review these advantages and disadvantages. Armed with all the needed information, you can make the right choice for your specific situation and preferences.

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