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Take a gap from your parents (Opinion)

Why taking a ‘gap year’ is actually beneficial to your college experience

November 14, 2016

You may be wondering what a gap year is, and that isn’t an uncommon question to ask. A gap year is taking six months to a year long break to help in another country or state by service or even going and being immersed in the culture somewhere. Taking a gap year places you in a totally new environment away from your parents and maybe even away from your normal everyday routine of Snapchat and Instagram. It gives you a whole new view on things you may encounter in a new country or situation. Multiple reports from colleges to high schools have reported increased academic scores in students who go on gap years. Students have also reported feeling more happy and being more satisfied with school and work. As time has progressed, colleges have become increasingly open to have students go on gap years before joining their freshman year, some colleges have even offered money for applicants to go on gap years up to even $7,500. People have gone to many different countries and states the most popular being Fiji and tropical islands due to their vacation like nature.

A main benefit of going to a different country is the different culture and language if you go to a Spanish speaking country you will be immersed in the language and will most likely come out speaking fluent Spanish. Going to Chile, for example, will show you how family life and daily life is different from your own in America.

You might be worried that if you take a gap year, you won’t come back. Colleges have reported students who have taken gap years have a 90 percent chance of returning to school within one year. The average rate of going to college after senior year is 66 percent, compared to taking a gap year this is a substantial difference.

The main con against going on a gap year is leaving your friends and family. I have a strong connection with my friends and family but having new experiences is more important that being with your family all the time. If your friends and parents wanted you to succeed they would want you to go on a gap year even though they would not see you for six months to a year.

There are a few different choices you have for gap years you are able to do, you can provide service for other countries, helping dig wells, clean up trash, etc. You may also be able to go teach English since most countries will have schools needing English teachers. In most cases you don’t even need to know the primary language of the country to teach English.

There’s several different programs you can use to help you afford the cost of a gap year and cater to wherever and whatever you would like to go and do. If you plan on taking a gap year it will be a big benefit to your academics and give you another great story to tell one day.

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