10 Benefits of a Gap Year Before College

taking a year off before college

There are many benefits for a student to take a gap year before they attend college. Benefits that not only will make you a better student, but will also make you a more well-rounded individual. This list aims to show you the top ten benefits of taking a gap year before college.

Check out our Top 35 Colleges that Support a Gap Year 

1. You Will Perform Better in College

Taking a gap year before college will allow you to perform better when you do attend college. This is due to many reasons, but the main factor is that having a year of time off between the end of high school and the beginning of college will cause you to take your education more seriously. You will see how the world operates first-hand and will understand the value of education that is placed upon individuals by society and the value of education that is inherent due to the fact that it makes an individual not only more marketable but more sympathetic to the plights of humanity. You will also be able to perform better in college in direct relation to all of the other reasons to take a gap year that made it onto this list that we will explore in greater detail.

2. You Will Have Time To Think

A gap year will give you the time to think about what your passion in life really is, and what you should go to school for. There are so many students that don’t figure out what they want to do until it’s too late and they have already paid for an education, so there only options are to either stick with the career that they are able to get into with the degree they have or to go back to school and obtain yet another college degree. Not only is this costly in a monetary sense, but it is costly in the sense that these students are having to wait twice as long to enter the field that they are passionate about than it does for students that go into college knowing exactly what their career plans are. They are also either putting themselves into further debt without advancing towards their chosen career any, or are stuck in a non-rewarding job as opposed to an enriching career.

3. You Will Make New Friends

Being able to make new friends in a non-educational setting is a great way to obtain life-long friends. Most people that become friends with classmates lose touch with them not long after graduation. This is because friendships formed during college are usually just friendships based on circumstance. Having a gap year before you enter college will give you a chance to forge long-lasting friendships based on a variety of different reasons instead of just on circumstance. This will allow you to not only have connections before school, but also during school and afterwards. A good friendship is hard to find and should not be underestimated. These friendships are not only great due to their social aspect, but they can also become powerful business contacts in the future, allowing you to further your professional network in an engaging and fun manner.

4. You Will Be Able To Experience What the World Has to Offer

Traveling. It’s not something everyone is able to do. Many people start their careers immediately after graduation, so most people don’t have a chance between school and work to see the world. Taking a gap year before college will give you the opportunity to be able to travel and witness everything the world has to offer. From new people, new sites and new foods, there is a lot in the world for you to experience. You can do a lot of exploration in a year’s time and witness many new experiences. By taking a gap year, you will be able to see what makes humanity so great and what makes humanity so terrible at the same time. This can lead you to learn more about yourself and how you might want to change the world through a rewarding career.

5. You Will Be Able to Build Up Your Resume

With a gap year before college, you can do many things that will build up your career, making you even more marketable to employers than someone that just has a degree. Things such as volunteer work, sports and recreational hobbies are all things that most employers will take into consideration when they are hiring a new employee. They understand that these things can build someone up and give them more value as not only an employee, but as an individual. There’s a lot of volunteer work available out there that will help you to show an employer that you’re not only capable (due to your degree) but that you’re also a hard, empathetic worker that is striving to make a positive impact in the world. These volunteer opportunities include city beautification, volunteering at homeless shelters or women’s shelters or even volunteering to help out in a soup kitchen.

6. You Can Get Much-Needed Work Experience

Along with volunteering, taking a gap year before college will also give you the time to obtain an entry-level job or internship. This is a wonderful way to obtain work experience that will not only serve you well during your time in college, but will also make it easier for you to obtain a career after graduation. This proves that you not only have the knowledge to be successful in your career but that you also have the work ethic and experience to be successful. Employers will be a lot more likely to hire you if you have work experience–even if it is just entry-level or an internship–than they would someone that holds only a degree. This is because having prior work experience makes you a lower-risk new hire than someone that has no previous work experience.

7. You Can Learn Independence

Volunteering, traveling and working a job will teach you about money management and the worth of a dollar. It will also teach you how to be your own person, as these activities instill a sense of independence in people. You have spent your whole life living under authority figures. Parents, grown-ups, teachers. By taking a gap year, you will be able to be independent and to set your own schedule and be your own person. This is something a lot of students don’t learn until later in life, and it’s very detrimental to them. Learning independence and being responsible will serve you well not only through your college life, but through your entire life. A gap year makes this possible because you will have a chance between having authority figures–in this case teachers–telling you what to do and setting a schedule for you.

8. You Will Be Less Likely to Suffer from Burnout

Burnout is when you have done something for so long that you start paying less attention to it and start looking for ways to avoid it. This is obviously not conducive to a successful college experience, so being able to take a gap year will give you the time off that you need to recuperate and enter your college life refreshed and ready to learn. A lot of students that do not take a gap year claim to suffer from burnout to some degree, which negatively impacts their studies and makes them more apt to skip school or spend too much time partying. Why would you pay for school if you’re not going to give it your all? A gap year before college will help you to avoid this burnout and help you to be more successful in college, which will lead to you being more successful after college.

9. You Can Develop New Life Skills

There’s a lot of new life skills one can learn in a year. By taking a gap year before college, you could learn a new language or find a new hobby. You can also learn new skills such as drawing, technical writing, cooking or public speaking. These skills will not only give you something enjoyable to do, they will also be things that you can draw from in your professional life or personal life after graduation. A skill such as a second language or being able to speak in public can greatly benefit most professionals and give them an edge in their careers. Other life skills such as getting a new hobby can help you in your personal life, as it can give you something to do to relax and enjoy. Some popular hobbies that could benefit a student are yoga, writing and drawing. Even playing video games can boost an individual’s spatial memory and hand-eye coordination.

10. You Can Become a More Well-Rounded Person

Overall, with all of the hobbies, life skills, independence, responsibility, work experience and traveling that you can achieve in your year-long gap before college, you will become a more well-rounded person. Being more well-rounded is something that can create so many positive opportunities in your life, and it’s a goal that you should strive for. By taking a gap year before college, there are so many things that you can do, achieve and see, all of which will lead to a more enjoyable and successful college experience and a more rich and rewarding life overall. For these reasons, among many others, we highly suggest students give taking a gap year before college a serious look before diving right into the next chapter of their lives.