A time off from books, endless projects, tiresome assignments, long hours of sitting in the classroom and sleepless nights trying to prepare for a test or finishing a due activity from school? Who wouldn’t want a break from them? For students, nothing can be sweeter than to have a year of rest and awesome holidays without any worries that they need to finish some school work or they need to study harder for them to pass a subject.
After high school, some students prefer to take a break or a gap year before entering College. They prefer to stop for a while and use the time to ponder on what they really want to do with their lives. For others, they spend this time traveling either in different countries or near home which they didn’t had time to do before. They challenge themselves to step out of their comfort zone and explore the world to gain valuable lessons and experience that will help them succeed in the path that they have chosen to take.
A gap year is a period of time typically taken between high school and college, or between junior and senior year in college. This might include work, study, travel, research and volunteering. Traditionally, it meant a year off school, however, gap years now can be taken anywhere by anyone, doing whatever you want, for various amounts of time, and at any stage.
Gap year has come a long way since it first started in the 1960s when it became a noticeable occurrence. During these years, the austerity of the post war was shaken off by the young people as they became bolder in asking if they will have the same life as their parents or will they have a better future. Gap year was a part of the social and cultural revolution in the past and though many things have changed since then, the idea of traveling while taking a gap year remains the same.
In the 1970s, gap years have been introduced in the United Kingdom as a way to occupy the 7 to 8-month gap between final tests and the start of University. This was done to help students gain personal development through extended period of international experience.
In the 1980s, the writings of Cornelius Bull, Interim Programs’ founder, introduced gap years in the United States. Since then, gap years have evolved through time and is manifested in various programs and all possible opportunity one could think of, both internationally and domestically. Young generations have taken it for the similar purpose of growing self-awareness, experiencing different cultures, and trying out with any possible future careers. Because of the pressure from the Education System in the US, most of them have experienced academic burnout which resulted to more students taking a gap year. Since then, gap years became popular and many articles have been written about it.
Taking a year off school is an incontrovertibly transformative life experience for students as they enter a life of maturity and independence. Through the experiences that they will acquire from taking a gap year, they will learn more how to appreciate other cultures by immersing themselves in unknown customs and practices. They will be more prepared to interact with people from other cultures in different places and various scenarios.
When applying for a job, taking a gap year is also beneficial as they are more marketable for jobs and internships. Recruiters sometimes like to read a gap year written on a resume. They believe that those who have taken gap years have acquired life skills that can never be learned inside a classroom and they are more matured and independent.
Taking a gap year can also help students to be more flexible and well prepared in handling new situations and in making transitions. They also tend to be more appreciative to challenging situations as they see them as opportunities to grow and learn.
Having a break from school also help students to be more conscious of their professional and academic passions. By giving them the opportunity to know their interest and make new hobbies, taking a gap year can help them get a clearer idea of what they truly want to study in higher education or what they want to pursue as a career in their future.
Students who have taken gap year are also noticeable to be more proficient in processing and learning from their experiences. They are more trained in facing practical situations because gap years provide more challenges in the outside world. Gap years offer students the chance to attain new heights through climbing a high and daring peak, contributing to a community or learning new languages. The learning experience from taking a gap year helps students to grow personally, professionally, and academically.
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