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6 Reasons You Should Take A Gap Year

Being bad ass in high school can really burn you out. So it isn’t surprising that many students are opting to take a gap year before going off to college. After AP, IB, SAT, and ACT exams its pretty understandable that students might feel a tiny bit tired.

For a long time the gap year was some what frowned upon but within recent years it has been gaining support from major institutions. Big name schools like Princeton, MIT, Dartmouth, and many other universities encourage it.

Related: Jeremy Lin On ‘How to Get into Harvard’

Princeton for example even has a program called Bridge Year which allows accepted student applicants the opportunity to defer their freshmen year and instead volunteer their time in a country other than their own. Ghana, India, Peru and Serbia to name a few.

Even Harvard is completely cool with students taking a gap year

“Occasionally students are admitted to Harvard or other colleges in part because they accomplished something unusual during a year off. While no one should take a year off simply to gain admission to a particular college, time away almost never makes one a less desirable candidate or less well prepared for college.” Harvard website

But if the above reasons aren’t enough, I have outlined 6 more reason why you should at least consider taking time off before going to college.


 6 Reasons You Should Consider Taking A Gap Year

1. Colleges won’t be mad at you!

Once you’ve been accepted you’re solid. You should slap yourself on the butt and by yourself an ice cream. You worked hard and now your in but sometimes your not ready. That’s totally cool. Colleges routinely let students postpone the start of their freshmen year. Harvard, for example, usually allows between 50-70 accepted students postpone their freshman start date per year.

According to Kristin White, the author of The Complete Guide to the Gap Year, here are average numbers of freshmen who delay their college start at other leading schools: Cornell (50 to 60), Dartmouth (20 to 30), Georgetown (15 to 25) and Yale (30 to 40).

Related: Jeremy Lin On ‘How to Get into Harvard’

2. You can get another crack at your dream school.

Sometimes you don’t get accepted to your dream school. It’s pretty normal don’t beat yourself up about it. If you got rejected consider doing something stupid awesome and impressive during your gap year. For instance, a student who was rejected by MIT used a gap year to invent an environmentally friendly scooter that Popular Science praised. The second time he applied to MIT, he got in.

3. You can do something stupid awesome and impressive

The gap year is an opportunity to get to know yourself. During this rare chance you have the ability to do absoluetly anything.  Take a look at some of these programs:

During this time you have the opportunity to learn a language immersion, travel, work, volunteer, build a business and pretty much whatever you set your mind to.

To find out about specific gap-year opportunities, I’d suggest you read The Complete Guide to the Gap Year

4. Schools are actually totally down with it

Harvard is so high on the benefits of a gap year that it’s been proposing this opportunity in the acceptance letters for decades. Princeton University launched a bridge-year program in 2009 that allows some admitted students to participate in nine months of university-sponsored service work at one of four international locations.

5. A gap year won’t jeopardize college plans.

Freshman year can be a blast. For many it is the first time away from home and the first time you have absolute freedom. This freedom can and often does lead to a tiny bit of trouble making. It’s completely natural, but it really sucks it it affects your academics.

During your gap year you can take some time to let out all that energy without allowing it to jeopardize your G.P.A You might even return to school more focused, mature and ready to start your college career.

6. Some gap-year gigs even pay.

In exchange for a 10-month commitment, a student will receive $4,725 for college. Pretty sweet right!? And it gets better. Some colleges and universities will match that award which mean you could potentially have your school  partially or fully paid for (especially if you spend this time applying for scholarships). AmeriCorp  for example offers 75,000 Americans an opportunity each year to volunteer with local and national nonprofit groups.


by Maximillian Garland

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14 Comments on “6 Reasons You Should Take A Gap Year

  1. I really agree with you that taking a gap year is the chance for you to do exactly what you want to do, and really prove that you can do absolutely anything. You've gotta challenge yourself, you only live once!

  2. I think that taking such gaps makes us realize the correct path through which that we should travel. People usually think it’s because that were ignored from getting the admission. Don’t ever listen to their views as it’s our life and the decision making is only left within us.

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  7. Gap Year is the bad moment for our life.We cant tolerate gap year in our life.I have a bad experience in my life.So Really hate gap year.

  8. You have written very informative reasons on should take a gap year.You can not find such information easily on other websites.I appreciate your efforts in making this post.
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  9. While no one should take a year off simply to gain admission to a particular college, time away almost never makes one a less desirable candidate or less well prepared for college.

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