Going to school is something that not all of us have the opportunity to experience. Some of us can’t afford it. For some of us, it’s too dangerous to even leave our houses because of a war. For some of us, it’s forbidden. These are a few out of the thousands of reasons many people don’t have access to education. That is why I believe it’s important to not only take advantage of learning more about our world but also making sure we are using our education to its full potential and wisely. What does that mean?
We enter high school around the age of 13 or 14, and we are taught that these four years are what make us or break us in some sense. These four years are crucial because they dictate which universities we get accepted into and what careers are planned out for us in the future—basically starting our own lives without our families at home.
For many of us, 11th and 12th grade are the most important high school years and in some way, so much happens in those two short years. Not only are you applying to university, but you are finishing up AP exams and SATs, trying to keep up the perfect GPA, engaging in clubs and extracurricular activities, trying to keep up with your sports team, making time to hang out with family and friends, etc. It can quickly become overwhelming, but it becomes the norm. Once we reach our senior year of high school, everything becomes a reality, and we start picking our futures.
However, the future is not the same for everyone. This means that not everyone feels ready to go to university straight out of senior year, and it’s okay.
Taking a gap year is about finding out what you really enjoy learning about, traveling the world, or just taking a break from school. Taking a gap year before university can be such a benefit to clear your mind and have a clear thought on what path to take.
It doesn’t mean that you are less than everyone else or less likely to succeed or have a job if you take a year off before university. It just means you need a better headspace to start your journey. So I say that if you really want to do it, do it.