TeenLife

    The 9 Benefits of Taking a Gap Year

    Posted January 11, 2022, 10:00 am by Johnathan Kindall

    What Are the Benefits of Taking A Gap Year?

    For many teens, participating in a gap year program is a life-changing opportunity. Experiences will differ program to program of course; for example, your time in an academic program would be entirely different than someone who chose a wilderness adventure camp for their gap year. However, there are few better ways to get to know yourself and the world around than by taking a gap year after high school. The benefits that gap years bring are many. 

    Are you a teen who still finds yourself asking that age old question: what will I do after high school? Well here's nine benefits to taking a gap year worth considering: 

    The Chance to Customize Your Education Experience 

    Unlike high school, where you’re required to take certain classes, gap year programs can be tailored right to your interests! Looking for something with lots of outdoor adventure? Or maybe something that will test your STEM skills instead? Either way, there’s a program out there just for you and your passions. Look through your options in the new 2022 TeenLife Guide to Gap Year Programs, available to download for free now! 

    The Opportunity to Make New Friends

    A gap year is also a great way for students to make worldwide connections with other teens their age. In fact, this is one of the most important benefits of taking a gap year! You're sure to be introduced to all kinds of new people, voices and perspectives on your gap year. It's perfect way to expand your social circle outside of your high school or local community. You can also forge real bonds that last long after the gap experience is complete. 

    Financial Stability

    While many gap year programs have an associated cost, the financial burden is almost always less than a university-level tuition. For this reason, taking a gap year can be a great way to put away money for long-term goals. That way, you can save while still ensuring that you’re working on your education and career!

    Connections and Networking

    No matter what type of gap year program you’re in, you're sure to meet experts in that field while you’re there. Not only will these experts help to guide you through your gap year process, but they'll also likely be dedicated to helping you even further in life. A gap year is a great opportunity for students to connect with mentors who will be able to assist them long after the gap year itself is completed. 

    Career Opportunities

    Some gap year students will find more than just friends and mentors while participating in their program. Many find an entire career! Whether it’s directly tied to the opportunity you’ve chosen or only somewhat related, a gap year is a perfect way to prove to potential employers that you are the type of teen to keep an eye on. Just like with friends and mentors, the professional relationships you form on a gap year can last long after the program is finished, so be sure to take advantage of all the career opportunities put in front of you! 

    Confidence in the Future

    Students who take a gap year are overwhelmingly more certain of their education and career decisions, and are far less likely to change major or field of study while in college. A gap year is a great way to make sure that what you’re considering studying is actually what you want, and to confirm whether or not you're ready for a college-level course load in one particular subject. 

    Time to Relax and Reflect

    The world can feel so fast-paced sometimes that it’s hard to take time to think about yourself. When's the last time you stopped to really think about what your education is going to get you? Well, a gap year of any sort is a perfect opportunity to avoid burnout and take stock of your goals, passions and interests. That way, you can plan for the future accordingly!

    Independence

    For many teens, a gap year is the first time they spend any significant amount of time away from home. Many students experience this for the first time in college. However, increased independence from a gap year is a way to make sure that you’re prepared for the transition of university living. Additionally, as gap year programs are all varying lengths, you can choose exactly how long you wish to be out on your own. 

    It Will Make You Stand Out

    No matter what gap year experience you choose, you’re sure to come away with a whole set of new skills and stories. When colleges or employers see that line on your resumé, it’s sure to make you stand out! 

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    jonathan kindall headshot

    Johnathan Kindall

    Johnathan currently serves as Content Editor for TeenLife Media. He is an accomplished writer and editor with a passion for the arts.

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