The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

British gap year good U.S. choice

 For years, weary students have been urged not to take time off between high school graduation and their freshman year of college.
   However, many college admissions advisers are now encouraging a “gap year.”
   Gerrit Lansing, a junior at Sewanee, the University of the South, traded a year in the classroom for one in Greece shoveling out a barn and crushing grapes. But he continued to develop his mind with afternoon classes in classical poetry.
   While the academic vacation is said to inspire confidence and self-awareness in students, surprisingly the idea has not convinced many.
   In fact, nearly a dozen colleges said the number of students who defer admission is relatively small, and flat year to year or even declining as an overall percentage, according to the Associated Press.
   The cause of these low numbers could be inspired by anxious parents. Researchers say most parents in the United States are against the gap year or any deferred path to a college education.
   Nevertheless, a deferred path is necessary for some students to unwind. After 13 long years behind a desk, many feel the need to see the world before committing to a college education.
   And in many cases, this escape offers valuable experience and self discovery.
   A gap year can also provide an opportunity for uncertain students to find a career path of interest, saving countless college hours and dollars down the road. Actually, a year of real-world experience can make a student more attractive to future employers.
   Harvard University has seen the benefit of a gap year since the ’70s when it began sending letters to admitted applicants encouraging them to consider a gap year.
   Gap years are much more prevalent in the United Kingdom, where approximately 11 percent of all British students take them, according to Tom Griffiths of Gapyear.com.
   AP said as many as one-third of all prestigious prep school students welcome the gap year as well.
   Because most starving college students cannot afford time off, many programs offer scholarships or aid for labor, allowing students to spend the break earning money for a college education.
   Furthermore, AmeriCorps offers a living allowance and education funding, AP reported.
   Gap years are not solely reserved for incoming college freshmen.
   Taking a year off after junior college could make the transfer to a four-year university much more enjoyable. Or seizing the opportunity to study abroad before graduate school could be invigorating.
   However, gap years are intended to inspire education. Thus, those who lack the self-discipline to continue their education should consider the weekend vacation enough.

Donate to The Collegian

Your donation will support the student journalists of Tarrant County College. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Collegian