Should You Take a Gap Year?

By: Megan Manlunas

So you’ve just graduated college and you’re deciding whether you want to go on to grad school and pursue a higher degree. However, you don’t have to go straight to grad school. A lot of students have been taking a gap year between college and grad school – which is just a year off from school. There are a lot of benefits and options for a gap year.

  • You can explore and travel

A year off before grad school can be a great time to take time off to explore and travel. Although this can be an immersive experience it will be expensive. In order to make this happen, you would definitely need to set a specific time frame and budget. Once you’ve figured out where, how, and when – it can be a great experience. Getting to know the world is one of the best experiences out there, there is so much culture to help expand your knowledge. By traveling to various countries you’d be able to experience wonders that can’t be done through a textbook. Check out these tips to help you plan your gap year travels.

  • You can gain more experience through working

Another thing you can do in your year off before grad school, is to start working. Through a full-time job or internship, you can gain experience to add onto your resume. A lot of students choose to work during their gap year because it helps fill their resume. Gaining experience is great for going into grad school. There are many gap year programs specifically for students who chose to work before going to grad school.


  • You can relax and take a break

You’ve been in school from kindergarten to college, you have just spent the last 16 years in school. Another great thing that you can do it take a break. As students we often train ourselves to study, study and study. That is until you can take a break in your gap year. This is the year you can finally take time off your studies and be an actual person! This can mean picking up hobbies that you’ve put aside or even meeting with old friends you’ve lost touch with.


  • You can improve your ability to adapt to new situations

While being away from school, you’re going to be put into new situations and you’re going to have to adapt pretty quickly. Being out of school is a whole new experience for someone who’s just been in school for 16 years (as said in the last bullet). But, in this time off you can really figure out what you are and aren’t comfortable dealing with.

Although it is a tough decision whether you want to spend a year off from school, taking a gap year has been proven to be very beneficial to many students. Although there are many exciting things you can see and do such as traveling, working, or picking up a hobby there are still downsides to taking a gap year. You have to make sure you weigh the downsides. Many students feel that taking a gap year ruins their studying habits and find it to be very expensive. Whichever decision you decide to make, make sure it is beneficial to yourself.