College or gap year: there is no compromise


Elena Thompson, Reporter

Often, school can be overwhelming. When thinking about going straight from high school to college, the constant pressure and stress can wear students down. The anxiety students feel is why gap years are so popular around the world.

     A gap year is a year spent away from school, usually between high school and college or freshman and sophomore year of college.

     When considering whether or not to take a gap year, students should take many things into consideration. For example, gap years can make them better prepared for college, provide important work experience and assist in learning new skills. However, the high price and the possibility of forgetting important materials when you do go back to university should be taken into account.

     Durango resident Kati Bachman took a gap year between high school and college. She was impacted and remembers it fondly, even as an adult.

     “My gap year gave me a great experience and let me see that there was more in the world than the small town I grew up in,” said Bachman.

     Organizing a fun and exciting gap year can be hard and many do not know where to start. However, with the right guidance, you can have a truly great experience.

    One of the problems people face when planning their gap year is over scheduling. Most students organize their gap years with a reasonable goal in mind. Sally Rubenstone, Senior Counselor of, warns against this.

     “Students with lofty gap-year plans have been known to end up zoned out in front of “Full House” reruns or steamed up behind a fry-o-lator at the local Mickey D’s,” said Rubenstone.

     Sarah Vierling, another Durango resident, believes that only highly motivated students should do gap years. Others may be distracted and would not get as much out of a gap year.

     “If you waste it and just party and drink all the time, it’s silly to take a gap year,” said Vierling.

     Even though Fr. Haley Sczcech has a long way to go before she has to decide what she wants to do with her future, she has  her own opinion on gap years.

     “Gap years are great. A lot of people go straight to college not knowing what they want to do and gap years provide a time for them to explore and figure their life out,” said Szczech.

     Many people have opinions on who should take gap years and how to take them, however in the end the choice is for the individual student to make.