To Gap Year or To Not Gap Year

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Written by Tanishk

Many things have changed in 2020. Now you might be thinking “New Year, New Me.” While this motto makes sense, something that most high school seniors should not change is their decision on whether or not to attend college this upcoming fall. 

The numbers do show that many high school seniors have opted to take a gap year instead of signing up for a university experience that could potentially be drastically different from a traditional college experience. 

While this logic makes sense, here are three reasons why taking a gap year might actually not be advisable. 

1. Time Wasted 

Though the potential of taking classes entirely online or being on a campus with severe restrictions does not sound like the ideal start to your college experience, you might be wondering, if not college, then what? This is a common question with many answers. 

However, many people are unable to justify pushing back their college education by a whole year due to the fact that they have nothing else lined up during that period of time. Sure, I get it. You have a bucket list you want to check off. Or maybe you plan on taking serious advantage of all your streaming services. However, unless there is a concrete plan that allows for one to fall into a good routine, most alternatives to college simply do not justify the 1-year hiatus that is required in this case.

2. Delayed Life

Unfortunately, nowadays, colleges seem more like a requirement than an option in order to attain a good job and build a career. 

Studies show that even though the cost of college is still increasing, pay for college graduates is still higher than that for those without a college education. This means that it is still financially worth it to attend college, regardless of how many numbers you see on your tuition bill every semester. 

Remember that for each additional year that you push off college, costs generally do increase alongside the effects of inflation, meaning that you will end up spending more money on that already very expensive education. Delaying your college start also will likely entail getting a job and making adult purchases later, such as a car or home.

3. Academic Adjustment 

While taking an entire year or even more off from school might sound like a dream come true (trust me, I can relate), it comes at the cost of academic adjustment. There is already a large learning curve when it comes to adjusting to the rigor of college curriculum and after spending an entire year away from the books, notes, and tests, it can become that much more difficult to get off on the right foot in college. This can be especially serious for those pursuing graduate school education afterwards, such as law school or medical school. Even 1-2 semesters of poor grades due to that extra time required to adjust can be detrimental. 

With all that being said, taking a gap year is a very personal decision and should not be taken lightly. While there are cons to this pathway, for others it might be the best decision they have ever made. So do your research, plan your year, and go out and succeed!

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