Most people can agree it is essential to broaden your horizons. And, broadening your horizons can be anything from taking a trip to an all-inclusive resort to spending the year backpacking through Europe. And, more and more high school students are taking a year to broaden their horizons before entering college. This leaves a lot of parents wondering, “Is this a good thing?”
Taking a gap year after high school can be an excellent idea for many students. Research has shown that the students that take a year off before college are more likely to graduate than those who don’t.
It’s so important for young adults to understand themselves and their peers better before they go off to school. Taking a year to figure things out can be a great way to just that.
If you take a step back from school to really see what you want to do for the rest of your life, odds are you won’t get stuck doing something you hate for the rest of your life. A gap year is a great way to open people’s eyes to so many more opportunities then they think they have.
Here are just a few…
Making new friends
Friends are so important, and having good friends that will be there for you always can make or break a college experience. Plus, if you don’t know anybody that is going to the same school as you, this can be a great way to meet some of your fellow peers and get to know them before you start your schooling.
Better college performance
Studies show as shown that when students take a year off, it leads to better college performance. This happens for several reasons, the main one being that you will take your education much more seriously.
By being able to see how the world actually works, you will realize how important it is to be educated and have a well-paying job.
You’re less likely to burn out.
Burning out is when you have done the same thing for so long that it irritates you. This, unfortunately, happens to a lot of college students, and this is another reason your performance in college is likely to be more successful.
The education process irritates most people who go right from high school into college so quickly. So they try to ignore it, and that’s not conducive to having a successful college experience.
As far as travel goes, that is a huge part of taking a gap year and broadening your horizons. It’s essential to understand what traveling means and how it works. Traveling is something you do so you can see and interact with other people, their culture, and what’s important to them.
Some advice that I can give you as a potential student traveler is as follows…
Don’t let finances hold you back.
Traveling, like many good things, comes with a price, but that price tag may not be a bug as you think. Adam Seper, a personal travel consultant, said something along the lines of, ” traveling, along with everything else, comes with a price. But, don’t let that make your decision for you because that price tag isn’t as unreachable as most may imagine.”
Talk to someone who has done it.
What better advice is there than first hand. Confronting somebody who has been in your shoes and can relate to you will definitely be a helpful tool in deciding when, where, and how to travel.
Also, if you talk to someone who has the experience, then you can keep someone back home updated on how your trip is going, which is always essential.
Plan for longer
It is always best to overestimate the amount of time you will be gone. This way you can surprise your friends and family if you do decide to come home, or if there are other places that you want to visit or experience, you will be able to do all of it. You won’t miss out on anything this way.
Become friends with the locals
Traveling is all about understanding other people and their cultures, so making friends with the people that live locally can have huge benefits. For example, the local people can show you around the places that are most visited by tourist, as well as other cool things that not everyone else gets to see. Plus, the locals are the ones who best understand their own culture.
To wrap it up, taking a year to recoup and find yourself is more than ok, its recommended, you only get to be a kid once, so go see the world and all it has to offer. Life experiences are the most important thing any person can walk away with. It’s vital that people understand other people and the way the world works. Plus, this can lead to you developing an appreciation for the things that you already have. The world is a mysterious place, go out and explore it.
One last thing, don’t let anyone get in your way or tell you not to do something, that it’s a waste of time, and it can wait until later. Do what’s most important to you first, and what they want can wait until they want to pursue it. Put yourself on the line. I promise you won’t regret it.