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Definition of the Gap Year

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The term “Gap Year” is not clearly understood by people. Generally, young adults between the age of 18-25 take a break from school or work for a defined period, typically 9 months to a year. They can spend this time traveling, volunteering to get life experience. The “Gap Year” allows students to learn about themselves and understand what their life goals are. They help students become better thinkers and scholars, filled with passion, purpose, and perspective. Students should take a “Gap Year” before starting college.

Students can use their gap year to participate in organized volunteering, learning some special trade by doing an internship, or by registering for short-term courses. Anything that the student chooses from above will help them shape up their future and the way they look at people and the world. It makes them better citizens. There are many opportunities, and the challenge is figuring out which opportunity is right and fit into the budget. It can be facilitated group programs that can last from 2-9 months and allow learning in small group peer-based programs led by knowledgeable staff. It can also let them earn college credit for certain accredited colleges. Then there are Volunteer Programs that can let them work locally or abroad. These programs are flexible and have no limitations on how much one needs to work. This can cost money, somewhere around 400-1000/week. Some students can do an internship or take special courses during a gap year to explore different options. The internship can allow them to learn professional skills and they learn to explore the professional options. With special courses, they can attend short-term courses from a day to several months to get a knowledge-based skill. There are other options as well. The Gap year impacts the student’s choice of career and their future overall. The executive director and founder of the Oregon-based nonprofit Gap Year Association, Ethan Night believes that ‘I would hazard to say that there is at least as much educational value in an international or domestic gap year experience as there is in a freshman year of college,’. A gap year, as Knight’s organization defines it, refers to a semester or year of experiential learning, typically taken after high school and before career or post-secondary education, to deepen one’s practical, professional and personal awareness.’

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At times we see a student who struggles in higher education because the student doesn’t have a sense of purpose and direction. A gap year gives a student a broader sense of the world and their place in it. It shows them how they can contribute to the world. It empowers the student with a kind of motivation and purpose that can animate their entire college experience. I have seen a family friend who took a gap year because she was feeling burnt out after completing high school and did have a clear understanding of what she is going to do in college. They took a gap year to participate in volunteering overseas. After coming back from that trip, she was emotionally and physically stronger. She looked more focused on taking admission to her choice of college with her selected major. She was refreshed and ready to go. She learned to survive without her family around. It helped her growing up as an independent individual who can take care of herself. She also managed her food and boarding costs with the volunteer organization by saving money during the senior year. It made her a stronger and responsible person.

The students who choose to do an internship during the gap year allow learning new skills with real-life experience while earning money that they can use for college or take care of their expenses like food, clothing, etc. The students who chose to enroll in short term courses that allow them to learn new skills as well as they learn more about their likes and dislikes and help them decide about their interest. This will prepare them for college and help them choose the major for their degree.

The key things that a student achieves during their gap year are Cultural exchange between the student and the inhabitants of the host country which can never achieve just by going to college. It also allows them to make a real difference in the lives of the people and a chance to make a positive impact on the people as well as on the environment. In return, they become a stronger person who is a responsible citizen and human being. Additionally, it gives them a broader sense of understanding in general and being grateful for everything that they have. Providing clarification and intent, the student will have a better understanding of what they want to study; enhancing education and business success with a global perspective that is measured in the real world; and improving educational results such as GPA, time-to-graduation, and leadership. While the Gap Year Association is dedicated to increasing the number of gap year graduates, they continue to see those gap years may not be correct for every participant in every state of affairs, and so stand behind the main cardinal of advising values in years of the gap: the scholar should be the driving force and thus take possession of his or her expertise, smart and challenging. This may be the most important ingredient in a healthy gap year. Prospective gap year students should each understand the potential obstacles and advantages of a good gap year, not just for themselves, but in fact for their societies and families. Taking a spot year is a chance for a scholar to require a lot of possession of his life. The essence of taking a spot The Year has anecdotally been a blessing to Knight and his community in terms of creating some real-world circumstances wherever the parent is virtually unable to ‘come to the rescue’ and wherever the scholar is ‘set to succeed’ in handling a number of their challenges.

With all the benefits a student gets out of the Gap year, critics like Scientist Sunny Liu and Professor Marta Tienda argued that a gap year can delay the timeline for getting a bachelor’s degree compared to the student who enrolls on time without taking any gap. It also feared that if you are not ready now, you will not be ready after a year. There is also an argument that students can have a challenge providing the reasons for the gap year to potential employers. However, Researcher Heta Tuominen-Soini and Psychologist Katariina Salmela-Aro claimed that research shows that students that are in the process of getting their higher education like high school have the highest percent of burnouts and stressful involvement of school assignments in their adulthood. Tuominen-Soini and Salmela-Aro have tended to collectively investigate gender differences, cluster changes in the tutorial and socio-emotional functioning and semi-permanent educational results, and cluster temporal stability. Latent profile analyses are known in high school as four teams of scholars. Every engaged (44 percent) and engaged-exhausted (28 percent) student was engaged and performed well in school, while engaged-exhausted students were further depressed and concerned with future failures.

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