Gap Years Before College

The beginning of these holidays has given us the time to wonder what there is to do after high school other than college. While it may not be an option for many, considering a gap year might bring new possibilities and peace of mind to other students. Of course, doubtful thoughts can always linger. You may be thinking, “Will I lose time?” or “What is there to gain from a gap year?” Because of all the questions present about gap years, I decided to ask my Cobra classmates–and even some of the graduates of the class 2020–what their thoughts are on this controversial topic. I found that the most popular opinion was: there’s a lot to gain from a gap year.

Photo By Alex

 The relentlessly fast pacing of high school can be detrimental for many students, so taking some time to concentrate on mental health is not only an option, but the best recourse for some. It might even be what leads some to finding that dream career. Taking a gap year can give us the time to research different universities and their majors and grant us the option to save money for college tuition. Perhaps we might realize we were not as sure as we previously thought about our future career or job expectations. A Decapello Yearbook staff member, Irises Zamora, commented on this issue: “Gap years can help you understand what workforce or industry you desire to be part of, and making more informed decisions on whether choosing to go to college, technical school, etc.”

Photo by Esther Silas

 Of course, the other side of the coin will always exist, with many students fearing that a gap year will elongate their learning experience, taking them further away from their career or even potentially removing the motivation to pursue it. Dayan Barrios, top 10 percent of the graduating class of 2020, explains, “I have heard a lot of people that say they need a gap year so they can work on themselves or just to get their minds off school for a while. Honestly, I think gap years are mostly just a waste of time. I believe that if I took a gap year I would be hurting myself instead of doing any good. I think the time given between each semester is more than enough to have a little disconnection from the world. Also, the people I know that took gap years ended up dropping out of school.” 

Whatever path we end up choosing, it is paramount to weigh every single option when making a decision as important as going to college.

 Photo by Elka Torpey