Taking a step back: Benefits of gap year

Beth Mooy, Infographic Manager

It is common for high school graduates to continue their academics at a college or university in pursuit of a career. However, this is not the only path, although it often goes overlooked. 

Despite not being the first option on many students’ minds, gap years can hold many benefits for students; whether they  are unsure about what career to pursue  or simply want to experience things that college cannot give them, they provide alternatives allowing students to explore their own goals and live life outside of the typical college route.

Junior Solomon Kelsch, is planning to take a gap year after graduation. “It’s one more year to make sure I know what I want to do because I’m still not sure yet,” he said. With the simplicity and freedom of a gap year, students aren’t forced to decide right out of high school what the rest of their life will consist of. 

The cost of college can take a large toll on students and force young adults to take on a lot of debt. With an extra year, students have more time to save and prepare themselves to finance the expenses of college. “It’s ultimately just so I have the money to do it [college],” Kelsch added. 

Despite the fact that gap years are not considered by most PV students, it is slowly beginning to be normalized. Its benefits are clear; given an extra year before furthering studies allows students to contemplate their career path and save for their future.

Mrs. Johnson, the career coordinator at PV, encourages gap years that are thoughtfully considered and have good intentions. , “When started with a plan and goals, a gap year can be an effective tool for the future,” she explained. Johnson also highly encourages planning through the year and reevaluating so that future academic goals can benefit from the experiences of the gap year.

Whether students want to break away from the usual academic approach to a career or explore life outside of their bubble, gap years, utilized with proper evaluation, thought out planning and commitment, can easily be a respectable and wise choice.