Life after high school consists of going to college, getting a job, and all the other traditional nonsense your parents and society tell you to do. Okay. Maybe it isn’t necessarily nonsense, but the expectation to know what you want to do with the rest of your life at 18 is a lot to take in.
Nowadays, it’s more common to take what is considered a “gap year”. A gap year could mean applying for a job, finding an internship, working on a personal project, or traveling. In 2016, Malia Obama opened up the conversation on taking a gap year when it was announced that she would be taking a year off from school and attending Harvard in the fall of 2017. This allowed her to have a year off to figure out what she wanted to do.
Obviously, not everyone’s father is President of the United States, but the media continued the conversation on taking a gap year in order to allow students to discover what they want to do in college. In the film, Booksmart, directed by Olivia Wilde, one of the main characters decides to take a gap year and volunteer abroad. Taking a year off to volunteer or intern abroad is a little more common and allows young adults to learn more about other cultures and open up their minds.
Think about it. About 80 percent of college students will change their major at least once throughout their college career. Often times, this requires taking more classes, which leads to more money being spent. With a gap year, young adults are allowed to think more clearly and have more time to think about what they want to major in once they’re in college.
A gap year gives a student the opportunity to expand their resume. Adding an internship abroad or volunteer abroad to your resume shows future employers that you’re able to work outside of your comfort zone. Using your gap year to work, intern or volunteer abroad gives you an advantage in the long run. By taking an internship, you get a sneak peek to a potential career path and you get to decide whether you like it or not.
Taking a gap year doesn’t have to be straight after high school. It can be in the middle of your college career, right after graduating from college, or in the middle of adulthood. Gap years are meant for self-discovery and figuring out what your next step is. Like school, finding a job, or other typical monumental life moments, there isn’t a specific timeline for a gap year. No one’s gap year is the same and that’s okay.
The abrupt change from high school to college impacts the level of responsibility a young adult acquires and affects the student’s performance level in classes. A gap year allows a young adult to learn how to be more prepared for college and once they start taking classes, they’ll be able to focus a lot more.
Adelante Abroad offers programs perfect for a gap year. Help us help you figure out what’s the next step in your adventure.