In “Gap Years: What Is A Gap Year Before College (And Should You Take One)? ” Tricia Taormina states that taking a “gap year” helps students plan more specific academic goals, stimulate their passion for learning, and aid them to get a better ideas about what they want to study. According to the article, a gap year means, “a year or semester students take off before enrolling in college. ” In the United States, it is optional to take a gap year for every high school graduate. However, I do not agree with Taormina’s point that taking a year off before college is helpful for high school graduates.
In my opinion, taking a year off weaken the students’ passion and motivation for learning, not enough time to plan for their future, and delays the students’ college graduation. First, taking a year off adversely affects students’ passion and motivation for learning. Speaking from experience, the gap year I took was not a fully meaningful time. At that time, since I did not pass the college entrance exam, I decided to wait another year to prepare and apply again. It was not a pleasant experience because I was blaming myself and I felt like I had truly disappointed my family.
In fact, during the gap year, I studied to get a higher score on the exam, but I lacked passion and motivation for learning because of the pressure and anxiety of failing again, and not being admitted into college. Secondly, I believe that taking a year off does not give enough time to clarify and locate the student’s direction or goal. Nevertheless, in the article, Pendoley insists that taking a year off is enough time to become an expert in an area and achieve better understanding in what they want to pursue for their future career.
However, I do not agree with this point. I think one year is somewhat too short of a period to become an expert in a field. Besides, getting a skilled job right after graduating high school is very difficult. Although high school graduates can work and earn some money to live or for leisure, the gap year does not give them enough time to get a clear understanding of their direction or goals for academic learning. Finally, taking a gap year before starting college delays the student’s college graduation.
In the article, Jason Sarouhan, who is working on a gap year consulting organization as a counselor, claims that young people can learn how to be independent and be empowered by taking gap years. I agree that taking a gap year help students to be more independent and empowered. However, I do not think those benefits from taking a gap year are directly related with planning the students’ academic goals. In other words, although students who took gap years are more likely to become independent, it is not guaranteed that they will have a strong mind set of planning a successful college life.
Moreover, taking a gap year is a waste of time if the student spends their time doing meaningless activities such as; playing games at home, watching TV, and sleeping with an irregular schedule. Even though the student anticipates on having the gap year be productive, if the student lacks strong self-control or motivation, it results in wasted time. Consequently, students taking a gap year between high school and college lead them into delayed college graduation.
In conclusion, it is definitely not an easy decision to take a year off before entering college. It also has several risks. It could decrease a student’s passion or motivation for academic goals, does not allow enough time for a student to figure out their academic goals and develop a better plan of their future careers. Moreover, taking a year off will more likely become time that delays one’s graduation. For those reasons, I would like to say that high school graduates should not take a gap year before entering college.