Picture this: Senior year of high school just ended while college is approaching fast. Maybe you feel burnt out from giving your all during high school. Maybe you are not sure you know what major you want to pursue (or what career you’re striving towards). Maybe you just need a break from the busy hustle of life and need to take some time for yourself. No matter the reason, you may just not feel ready for the impending idea of college.
That is where a gap year comes in. A year that is a break between high school and college that will allow you to pursue your interests, experience a job, or volunteer. A gap year is often not intended to be wasted away in front of a television screen but rather to enrich your life with experiences that you could not have obtained during high school while resting your mind before college. Taking a gap year could reenergize you to power through college with a better perspective on why you are committing to higher education.
However, choosing to take a gap year is a large decision with many nuances. First you need to consider the largest obstacle to taking a gap year: the financial burden. Depending on how you want to spend your gap year, you will have a different cost. If you want to travel to another country, as many gap year students do, you need to pay attention to the flight and accommodations fees. You need to plan ahead or evaluate how you will pay for your gap year. If you are not yet a senior but plan to take a gap year, you could consider creating a savings fund for you to maximize your gap year. Or consider starting a fundraising campaign to raise funds for your plans. A fundraising campaign is also an impressive feat that could be added to your resume and skill set. Some gap year programs even offer monetary compensation for work. Whichever plan you choose, just make sure you are able to afford the gap year you envision.
Furthermore, you need to consider what exactly you want to take from your gap year. It is highly recommended that you do not go into your gap year blindly with no plans and no goals. This is a precious time period before college for you to gain skills/experiences that will set you apart from your college peers that went straight into higher education. Consider teaching in a country you have always dreamed to visit (Nepal is a great choice!) or immersing yourself in the culture of a country that has been on your radar. If you are into volunteering, look for opportunities and programs that will allow you to contribute to a cause you are passionate about. Learn a language, find out about a hidden talent, gain some work experience, and give yourself the freedom to challenge your boundaries with the free time of a gap year. Here at Gap Year Nepal, we will help you in any way we can during your decision period by offering a wide variety of programs. Let us know if we can be of assistance!
Finally, think about how your gap year could shape your college life. If you are uncertain about your chosen major, then take the gap year to explore that field and test the waters. Some choose to defer their college enrollment for a year to take some time to reflect on their career plans and gain work experience. This could open your eyes to different fields and find what you are actually passionate about. Additionally, some choose to take a gap year if they are unsatisfied with their college acceptance results and would like to raise their standardized testing scores and craft more impressive resumes. A gap year could be a chance to go after internships and jobs that you could not have applied for in high school that could really impress college admission officers. In the end, make sure your gap year helps redefine your college outlook and transitions you more smoothly into high education.
Author: Michelle Chen