Free Essay on a Gap Year: High School Graduates Should Take a Year Off Before Entering College

Published: 2022-06-15
Free Essay on a Gap Year: High School Graduates Should Take a Year Off Before Entering College
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  College Education
Pages: 3
Wordcount: 706 words
6 min read

After high school education, graduates have an option of joining college directly or taking a year off, a gap year, before beginning higher learning education. The number of high school graduates opting for a gap year has been increasing for both those from low and high socio-economic status. For example, in 2017, Malia Obama, the daughter of the retired President Obama joined other thousands of high school graduates who had opted for a gap year (McPhate, 2016). The growing trend of high school graduates taking a gap year is, however, not well understood regarding causes and effects. High school graduates could resolve to a gap year to explore career, passion, and self-interests, recharge and mature and to undertake a job; and these cause of an individual considering a gap year result in delving in a creative passion, reenergizing, making enough money and also good academic performance.

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High school graduates consider a gap year to explore self-interests, careers, and passion before settling on a particular course. Much of the time in high school is spent on preparatory courses and extracurricular activities with little time left for an individual to explore personal interests, passion and career options. A high school graduate, therefore, should consider taking a year off to explore which career aligns with his or her passion and interests. During this exploration, one delves into creative passion by engaging in field practices (Harvard office of Career Services, n.d). As a result, they identify their personality, strengths, and interests which lead to the selection of a career that fits them. Also, taking a gap year for self-exploration results in higher academic performance often individuals graduating with first or second class degree (Crawford & Cribb, 2012). This can be attributed to the fact that an individual has selected a career that aligns with interests, passion, and strengths.

Similarly, high school graduates may take a gap year to recharge and mature before assuming higher education. Today, the youth experience fast pace of growth and they often find themselves indulging in binge drinking, being distressed and self-destructive behaviors (McPhate, 2016). This has necessitated a gap year for one to experience the real world and mature. The results do not disappoint either. Students who experience a gap year report being energized and refreshed for college work and are mature enough to assume independent decision making and living required at college (Harvard office of Career Services, n.d). This is because a gap year creates an opportunity for the high school graduates to experience the real world and establish a more external locus of control as compared to those who go straight to college (Crawford & Cribb, 2012). Thus, gap year takers are unlikely to engage in risky behaviors such as excessive consumption of alcohol or sexual abuse.

Also, some take a gap year to find a job that will help in raising funds for higher education. This is especially the case for individuals from low socio-economic families who experience financial constraints for financing their learning. As a result of taking a gap year for making money, these students will adequately cater for their accommodation and learning needs which in turn lead to the realization of higher academic performance.

Taking a gap year after high school can be due to the need for time to explore self-interests, passion, and careers, recharge and mature and to make money for sustaining higher education. Those who take a gap year for the above reasons experience fantastic results including maturity and independent decision making as well as higher academic performance. Thus, high school graduates should take a year off before entering college so that they can get an opportunity to mature, reenergize, and explore their passion, interests, and careers that align with their strengths and to make money to sustain their higher learning education.


Crawford, C., & Cribb, J. (2012). Gap year takers: uptake, trends and long term outcomes. Institute for Fiscal Studies through the Centre for Analysis of Youth Transitions (CAYT).

Harvard office of Career Services, (n.d). Exploring a gap year. (2018, January 19). Retrieved from

McPhate, M. (2016). Malia Obama's 'Gap Year' Is Part of a Growing (and Expensive) Trend. (2018, January 19). Retrieved from

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