Gap Year: To gap, or not to gap?

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Carter Reiter and Maggie Wigton

The Pros of Taking a Gap Year

Many wanderlust seniors looking for adventure after graduation choose to take gap years. While there are endless things to do with a gap year, it is popular to spend them traveling.

DHS graduate Bryce Gordon is spending his year skiing in Chile, Argentina, and all over North America.

“It is really relieving, refreshing and productive not to have a set track like graduating college in four years, finishing that paper by 6 am or even just being stuck in one place. For the next 10 months or so the time is totally mine and it’s been super productive and rejuvenating so far. Senior year was a grunt so it’s nice to let the mind wonder and not focus too much on one thing,” said Gordon.

After being a student for twelve years, sometimes taking a break from the grueling demands of school is necessary. It is important for students to feel ready and excited for college, so taking time off for self discovery can be extremely beneficial, especially when a student is still unsure about what they want to do in the future.

“To be completely honest, I never planned to take a gap year. When the reality of going to college hit me though, I knew I wasn’t ready. I felt like I needed more time to figure out myself and my life and traveling felt like the perfect way to do that” said DHS graduate Lily Burdick.

Burdick spent the first two months of her gap year backpacking throughout Europe and will spend the remaining time traveling around the U.S.
“Take it for yourself and because you want to. Spend the year doing what is going to make you happy and love yourself. That’s ultimatelywhat the gap year should be, you doing what you want to do because you can,” said Burdick.

 

The Cons of Taking a Gap Year

     It is a common theme these days for almost every high school senior to soar away from home and fly on to get a higher education, but there are a select few who are a little different. Just as it has been for thousands of years, some birds are given the option to just not leave the nest… or are they?

In 2001, approximately 1,353 students opted to take a gap year, a number that has drastically increased going into 2011 when approximately 3,558 students took a gap year.

“While I always wanted to take a gap year, I feel like the deferral system cheated me out of a lot of money and time, and in the end, I still have nothing to show for it,” said 2015-16 Animas High School Sr. Allee Mckown.

A gap year puts money in perspective and it makes many millennials want to simply continue to make money at temporary jobs, Compared to instead of spending it on a higher education, an invaluable investment for the future.

In addition, students who have been accepted into college run the risk of a request for deferral being denied.

     “I made a commitment to a college, giving up spots at the other places I had applied. Then my deferral was denied.  I had grand plans of travel, volunteer work, internships and outdoor courses. Reed took my commitment deposit and assured me that deferral requests are always accepted unless you flat out say you are planning to play video games from your parent’s couch while smoking weed.  But my request was denied.  I am only 2 months into a gap year, so I can’t tout the life-changing things I’ve done, because they haven’t happened yet.  I didn’t get in everywhere I wanted last time, and now I look even less desirable to colleges as I have a year off and most of the cool stuff hasn’t happened yet. Reapplying to many places puts me lower in their stack, since they already let me in once and I blew it.  Yet, the deadlines loom again… ,” said Mckown.