Should U.S. Teens Take Gap Years?
By: Gerardo Porras
Should American Teens Adopt the British Custom?
Students Will Have Time to Relax
Students Learn Life Lessons
During the gap year, the student will learn many life lessons and how to be responsible, similar to what they would learn in college. There is so much free time to use that students may feel they can abuse it and watch TV or be lazy all day. In reality, a gap year isn’t a year just to take off. It would be essential that the student learns how to be wise about their time. Surely, they can blow that year off, but it’s their loss. In order to make the gap year as beneficial as possible, the student should be active and hard-working. This teaches them how to be wise about time and to have fun only after the real work is done. Along the lines of making your own choices, you have the freedom to eat junk food, leave your room a mess, and spend your money foolishly. Again, it’s up to the student, but once they learn from their mistakes and realize that it’s useless to go around making bad choices, they will be a better person than they were before. Finally, students may face life-changing events that make them more cautious about their actions. An example of this includes a car accident in which the driver was drunk. Similar to college, the students have to learn some of the most valuable lessons in life the hard way. A gap year provides an extra year of learning about these lessons so that you can be a better student at the university and throughout the rest of your life.
Students Can Help Themselves and Others
Gap years can serve as a time to help yourself while also being selfless and helping others. The main way to help yourself would be to find a job and work full-time. This way, you’ll have money saved for college and beyond then, when it may be hard to find a professional job for a few years after graduating. You can also split your gap year into two halves: one for saving, and one to enjoy yourself and travel with your saved money. Another amazing option would be to donate your time and money to the less-fortunate. You can simply volunteer at a soup kitchen or even clean up the park and help plant trees. For those looking to go above and beyond, though, there is always the option of traveling to third-world countries. There, you could build homes and supply the people with donations of your choice--whether that be toiletries or toys. Even your presence would be enough to bring smiles to the people’s faces. To know that someone willingly traveled halfway across the world and is willing to communicate and spend time with you is truly a feeling that must be hard to replace. At the end of the day, it is totally worth it to help others out as you make them feel joyous. It also makes you feel accomplished and reassures you that your gap year didn’t go to waste. Gap years should be taken by American students because it is a time to help themselves and others, financially and supportively, respectively.
The Best Choice? Taking a Gap Year After High School
Why? The answer is simple: a gap year is basically a preview of college, minus the courses. It is also a great opportunity as it gives students time away from school to relax, valuable life experience, and the opportunity to help themselves and others in ways to better the world one step at a time. At the end of your gap year and your first day of college, you’ll surely look back and say, “Taking a gap year was definitely the right choice.”
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