Gap Year programs are by no means a new idea. In many countries, it is the norm for students to take a structured break from formal education between high school graduation and a higher degree. These ‘gaps’ are meant to increase awareness of oneself, the world, career opportunities and make them more desirable to employers and colleges.
TOP TEN REASONS TO CONSIDER A GAP YEAR:
1. You need a break. Gap Year programs allow students to step off the education treadmill for a year to pursue other interests and tap into skills they didn’t know they had. After 12 years of structured academia, students need to take time to rejuvenate before delving into the next phase.
2. Get to know yourself. Day in and day out, we are influenced by our environment and the people in it. Have you ever stopped and wondered who you would be without all those influences? Gap years challenge students to step away from their family, friends, everyday activities and in some cases, technology, to find out who they are.
3. Discover your passion. Challenging yourself to step outside the norm can unlock hidden doors. It is an excellent opportunity to explore what your passions are. Knowing these things early can help you focus on a major in college (saving you money in the long run) and have a long-lasting benefit in the workforce.
4. You want to help others. Our gap year programs offer opportunities to volunteer at home and abroad, allowing you to reach outside yourself and give back to the community. Not to mention those service experiences looks great on a college application!
5. You will perform better in college.Research shows that students who take gap years earn higher GPAs than students that do not. Bob Clagett, former Dean of Admissions at Middlebury College in Vermont, designed a recent study to track gap year students’ GPA performance. The study pulled academic measures from new student applications that usually accurately predict how a student will do in college. When Clagett took the predicted performance of students based on those measures and compared them with their actual performance over four years, students who took gap years almost always over-performed academically in college, and usually to a significant degree. The most important thing? These students saw the positive effect of their gap year program endure for all four years.
6. Separate yourself from the crowd.Today, there are gap year fairs and financial aid from colleges to encourage students to pursue their passions. This interest stems from the evidence that suggests students who attend these programs bring more to their college experience by doing better socially and academically and doing so for extended periods. In a time when only 53% of students are graduating from a 4-year college, these programs are proving vital.
7. You will gain life experience. Let’s face it, life isn’t always perfect, and it can be easy to get caught up in the drama of a bad date or a missed party. Things that should be a minor crisis all of a sudden can feel like the end of the world. Gap Year programs allow students to travel and gain a wider breadth of experiences about the world and humanity. Many students say that they feel as though they learn more on Gap Years than they do in school and gain education for life.
8. Have an adventure while you are young. As you get older, it becomes harder and harder to travel for extended periods of time due to financial constraints and responsibilities at home, take the time for adventure, today!
9. You will be great at adapting. Pick a gap year program that gets you outside your comfort zone, and you will be glad you did. Rarely do young individuals learn how to adapt to new experiences and challenges, but most colleges are looking for students who can. Leaving home and gaining confidence and independence are hard to come by but necessary for collegiate success.
10. It is fun. Last but not least, the obvious… While traveling abroad and leaving your friends and family may seem scary, everything will be there when you return. This is your chance to meet new people, check things off your bucket list, make some great memories, and become a better-rounded person.
>Gap year courses with Outward Bound