Open Phones: Your Gap Year Advice

Thursday, May 02, 2013

Yesterday was the deadline for high school seniors to reject or accept offers from colleges. For many, those offers were not for fall semester but for winter semester. So, if you took more than just a summer between high school and college, what's your advice for these students? Did you take a gap year? What did you do and what did you learn? Comment here or call 212-433-WNYC (9692).

Comments [5]

The Truth from Becky

Not ready for college BUT is ready to go hiking up the Appalachian

May. 02 2013 11:59 AM
TF01 from nyc

Traveling abroad (working abroad if possible) can expand your horizons at a young age.

This can be done more cheaply than you think especially if you choose certain countries, work abroad for at least part of it, and travel like a backpacker.

May. 02 2013 11:55 AM
P. from brooklyn

I took a year off, worked, and moved in with my friends. I partied hard and was completely irresponsible because I was out from out of my parent's roof for the first time.

When I went to college the next year, I was totally ready and far far more responsible than most of my classmates.

I highly encourage parents to let kids take the time and go a little crazy. It will be good for them in the long term.

May. 02 2013 11:52 AM
Diana from NJ

Based on what I have seen, only the most disciplined high school graduates are successful in taking a gap year and getting back on track with their continued education. When gap year is used strategically, and the student has a clear plan to start college, work, etc. immediately after, it can have tremendous benefits.

However, I have known many of those who are "still finding themselves" and "figuring things out" turn to loose gap year activities get lost. Eventually, most do find their way back, but usually after a LONG haul (7 + years )to complete their undergrad and get on with their career and life plans. If parents are happy with the child/student who is still at home, dragging along working part time and doing an undergrad shuffle (often between various institutions) at age, 25, 26 then it is not a problem.


May. 02 2013 11:47 AM
superf88 at gmail

The Gap Year is not just a great alternate to education, it can be a valuable part of "one's education" (of course). In my case I took a "gap year" after graduating from a difficult high school and prior to graduating from a difficult college. I lived out a daring, life-changing adventure. My only regret is not having done so earlier (although in my case, given the risks I took and strength and knowledge I required, 18 would probably have been too young).

Nowadays with the internet it is simple to collaborate with one's parents/advocates in planning this gap year, if he or she is so fortunate as to have parents who are willing to encourage such an experience to plan a job and other activities that are in line with one's future. (Mine wouldn't even talk to me during that period, which they regretted once they saw the result. This is the main reason I am bothering to post this comment now -- to communicate to such parents.)

College (and school) is for many things -- but the main one, IMO is getting A's. If one is not motivated to do so -- then best to pull that rip cord fast! Don't worry, your college will always take your money down the line. Incidentally, during my own travels, which included exploration of "obscure and outlaw American villages and forests," I met many people on a similar quest -- but nearly all European, not American.

May. 02 2013 11:01 AM

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