After graduating from secondary school level, students are expected to immediately look for academic institutions to purse higher education on preferred course and degree programs. The high costs of college education; as well as the apparent unpreparedness of high school graduates to pursue higher education have provided the impetus to reevaluate options for high school graduates to include taking a year off after graduation before entering college. From personal experiences and from the assertions of some friends regarding taking a gap year, the current discourse hereby argues that that high school graduates would be better off taking a one-year gap due to benefits in terms of personal and professional growth; as well as in providing enough time to discern the field of discipline to pursue towards the decision to delve into university life.
One personal experience has enabled the realization that a one-year gap period would provide benefits in terms of personal and professional growth. In an article entitled “10 Research to Take a Gap Year” published online in Campus Explorer, it rationalized that taking time off after high school graduation would prove to be more beneficial to the students. Students who took a one-year time off seem to exhibit a more mature; yet relaxed stance at life due to the more profound experiences which were realized during the gap year. I, for one, had sought inputs from a personal friend who corroborated this argument by confirming that the gap year provides ample opportunities to recharge the students' academic battery. Accordingly, my friend argued that she used this time frame to prioritize personal and professional goals. As such, the time period was instrumental in affirming that it was important to help one’s family in terms of augmenting their source of income; and thus, a part-time job was pursued in the meantime. The working experience, thus, enabled one’s friend to develop maturity in perspectives; more confidence in confirming abilities in applying different skills; and the uplifting chance to have shared one’s talents and abilities to help support daily family expenses.
These benefits were not realized by me who opted to pursue a college degree right after high school graduation. I felt rushed in my decision to select a career based on initial perceptions and from parents’ advice. When I had to decide on the career or profession to delve into, there was much confusion and ambiguity in confirming what one really wanted. This is due to the fact that there are varied fields of discipline which could be pursued within the same frame of interests. For instance, one thought of pursuing a course in business; however, one could not decide if the major courses to enroll in should focus on finance, marketing, or accounting since one was not yet well aware of the differences between these courses right after high school graduation. And since one does not know the disparity of one over the other, selecting the most preferred degree course actually proved to be challenging.
The one year gap period also provides enough time to evaluate options more comprehensively. In another article entitled “Should You Take a Gap Year Before College and Explore Alternatives?” published online in Peterson’s, the author has supported taking one year off through exploring other productive opportunities that high school graduates could pursue. From among the interesting endeavors which were disclosed, the following are noteworthy: joining the armed forces; undertaking some form of vocational training or delving into career educational programs; pursuing other interests, are some of the opportunities which could be explored. As asserted, “high school graduates in many other countries, including Australia, Britain, and Israel, often defer admission to college as an accepted chance to explore their interests and see the world prior to entering a college or university” . Thus, the one year time off could be spent as a reflective moment to determine and confirm whether higher education should be pursued; and if so, what is the appropriate career and academic institution which would meet future professional goals.
One is convinced that high school graduates would be better off taking a one-year gap due to benefits in terms of personal and professional growth; as well as in providing enough time to discern the field of discipline to pursue towards the decision to delve into university life.
The one year time off provided a wealth of new experiences outside of the academic endeavor; thus, enabled the enhancement of self-confidence and confirming values and beliefs that sharing one’s knowledge and skills to help others is definitely productive and rewarding. Likewise, the gap year would provide the much needed time to determine genuine interests, as well as personal and professional competencies and skills that would eventually match the needed theoretical framework in effectively pursuing the degree program to fulfill one’s long term goals.
Campus Explorer. "10 Reasons to Take a Gap Year." 28 June 2013. campusexplorer.com. http://www.campusexplorer.com/college-advice-tips/7160010C/10-Reasons-to-Take-a-Gap-Year/. 5 October 2013.
Peterson's. "Should You Take a Gap Year Before College and Explore Alternatives?" 30 January 2013. petersons.com. http://www.petersons.com/college-search/gap-year-explore-alternatives.aspx. 5 October 2013.