Why is Taking a Gap Year Controversial?

921 words (4 pages) Essay in Education

18/05/20 Education Reference this

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The number of people who are deciding to take a gap year after high school is increasing. The majority of people think it will bring many benefits for them such as having the time to relax or to think about their career in the future. However, it also brings some drawbacks (Jones, 2004) of a gap year. The following essay will elaborate the given topics in details and come to a sufficient conclusion.

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First and foremost, the reason why people choose to take a gap year is they have just taken a high-pressured exam to graduate high school and they need to have time to think about their future career. According to Molly Reis Franz (2017, p.213), students who think about taking a gap year are generally more prepared to use their time at university in a better way, especially when considering a degree in clinical psychology. During this period, they will spend more time doing some activities such as travel around the world, participate to volunteer social work or maybe find a job. It helps them to improve communication skills, involving talk of confidence, mental maturity and independence when they will perform better in the university. “Students who had taken a gap year were more likely to graduate with higher grade point averages than observationally identical individual who went straight to college, and this effect was seen for gap year students with lower academic achievement in high school” (Crawford & Cribb, 2012, p. 1).

During the gap year, many people normally spend more time challenging and testing themselves in ways that can help them discover ability of each person in accordance with a future career. For example, they register a music class and they find a new passion in it. As a result, they can decide to become a singer in the future. According to (F.Kennedy, 2017, p. 1), “Students may want to explore an interest in a certain academic area to test if this is a subject they might want to focus on in college”.

Students who decide to take a gap year can work to earn money with jobs that are suitable for their levels and age without having to depend on family. If they save enough money, they can use that money to travel and discover new places. Besides that, in this time, they can take the time to do the job they like and where they want. It also helps them to broaden their horizons and gain new life skills, based on Harvard University, Massachusetts (2017, p.1). After a period of gap year, when looking back, they will see how they change. For instance, their income can support their family, so they will feel more mature and responsible.

On the other hands, the biggest disadvantage of gap year option is that many people will not want to go back to college and continue their studies because they want to work to make more money or they prefer to travel and enjoy themselves rather than learning. Unfortunately, their study skills may be diminished and becomes more difficult for them to effectively absorb what will be taught. Apart from this, money will be a problem that makes them headaches since during the year period they may not receive any financial help from their parents. They have to solve problems such as travel expenses, items they like or even rent.

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Moreover, they make sure to use that time to do something useful for them or leave it meaningless. Although many people think that it takes much time for them to study and explore the outside world, they want to make excuses of wasting their time and money. According to Andrew Jones (2004, p.67), there are some undeniable potential disadvantages of taking a gap year for youngsters, such as expense. A gap year without satisfactory financing can be a huge burden for youngsters who have huge obligation when they come back to instruction, preparing or starting business.

From previous research, everything consists of two sides of an issue. Therefore, before drawing out the conclusion, one must gather enough legitimate information resources first. Thus, they need to analyze and choose the way that suits each other. A gap year will give them a good time and new experiences or it may not give them anything but wasting their time. Depending on how they look at and use that time, they may find out their purpose in life, the work they love, and what they want to do in the future.

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