Bridging the gap: Three reasons you should take a gap year

By Logan A. White
Times-News correspondent 

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The gap year can be a time for teens to travel and discover their true passion. [Logan A. White / Times-News correspondent

   The gap year — a year of discovery or a year of disuse?
Taking time off between completing high school and beginning college is a notion that’s becoming more appealing to students in the United States, but remains a misconception to most.
With the popularity of gap years on the rise, it’s important to consider the many paths available before making post-graduation plans. Here’s three of the biggest benefits of taking a gap year:
 1. Round it out — students who take a year “off” use that time to travel, often finding a job or internship in another state or even another country. Not only does this real-world experience boost their resume, it also helps teens connect to a community. Whether on an international or regional scale, spending a gap year away from home can help students gain a greater understanding of the world around them and become well-rounded, according to Global Citizen Year.
2. Career choices — another fantastic way to spend time out of school is discovering your true passion. Getting a foothold in their industry of interest through apprenticeship or internship makes students more appealing to companies after graduation, and it also allows them to decide on a career path instead of aimlessly changing majors, according to Huffington Post.
3. Metamorphosis to maturity — the transfer from high school to collegiate responsibilities can be a shock to teens. A gap year is a wonderful tool to help students gain independence and build character. Whether you’re working abroad or volunteering at home, your “time off” can be used to brush up on skills needed for college, your career, and beyond, according to collegraptor.com.
Although the prospect of taking time off from school can sound daunting, gap years are an important educational opportunity that all students should consider. Time spent away from studies — whether immediately after high school or during college — can be used to gain valuable experience and explore the issues of the world we live in.
Gap years aren’t a break in learning, they’re a bridge for the future thinkers of this generation and those to come.
   

To learn more about gap years and their benefits, visit globalcitizenyear.com.

Logan A. White is a Teens & 20s writer and a home-schooled high school graduate. She currently trains in Cary Ballet Conservatory’s professional program and also is taking a gap year.

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