Derek Melleby, Director of the College Transition Initiative, a ministry of the Center for Parent/Youth Understanding and the Coalition for Christian Outreach, pens an excellent, brief article on the benefits many students can accrue from a “gap year” between high school and college. If you’re not familiar with the term “gap year,” he also defines it and gives links to several websites which list all kinds of programs.
Why do students take a gap year? A gap year brings focus. According to The Princeton Review, “Likes and dislikes, plans for the future, and even the reason why you want to be in school can come into sharper focus with a simple change in environment. Time off can give students added focus and enthusiasm when they return to school. If a student isn’t ready for college, time off can cultivate maturity and self-discipline… Admissions counselors at professional schools tell us that taking time off for school is rarely a disadvantage for an applicant. In fact, they often choose the student who took a year off and is ready to become fully engaged in school over the one who has been on autopilot and will burn out in a few months.”
Many students simply go through the motions: they go to high school, they go to college, they get a job and very few are reflective on why they are doing what they are doing. A gap year can provide a remarkable opportunity to take a “time-out,” to be forced out of a routine, and into deeper engagement with life and learning.
Read the whole thing.