Advantages of Gap Years

  • Accelerated Maturity
  • Improved Academic Performance
  • Gain a New Perspective
  • A Chance to Re-focus
  • Improve Career Opportunities

According to Business Insider magazine, there are many advantages of gap years. Taking a gap year is very beneficial for one’s social, academic and personal growth. Some students enroll in structured gap year programs or they spend their time traveling or volunteering abroad. Regardless of the reason, taking a gap year will result in the five benefits below.

1. Accelerated Maturity

One of the biggest advantages of gap years is that students will be more mature when they begin college. Most gap year participants will know how to be a good student, but they will lack quality life experiences. Gap years provide students with opportunities to interact with others, take on more responsibilities and become more independent. Whether the student is living in a different country or working in a different state, they must take care of themselves as an adult for the first time. After gap year students begin college, they will be better prepared to deal with the challenges of college.

2. Improved Academic Performance

Another one of the college gap year advantages is that students will academically perform better compared with non-gap year students. However, many students worry that college admission boards and professors look down on gap years. This isn’t true because a gap year demonstrates confidence, accountability and a drive for success. Gap year students tend to have higher GPAs and become more involved on campus because they are more mature and ambitious. Students who take a gap year are much more likely to return to college within one year because their new experiences help them to identify academic programs that fit their personalities and career goals.

3. Gain a New Perspective

Another one of the advantages of gap years is that students are challenged to leave their comfort zone. Students are usually engaged in something entirely new in a totally different environment. Living and working in an unfamiliar climate and learning a new language will broaden the student’s horizons. Spending a whole year doing something special will help the student gain new perspective on life, academics and relationships. For instance, a history class will be so much more meaningful if the student has actually lived in the country and visited the museums and places of interest. Gap year students will experience an enhanced understanding of global issues, cultural diversity and abstract ideas.

4. A Chance to Re-focus

One of the advantages of gap years for current college students is that they will have the opportunity to regroup and refocus. College can be a stressful time for students, especially for those who are participating in a program that doesn’t meet their needs or interests. Many students feel worn out between dealing with university academics, maintaining personal commitments, managing financial aid debt and trying to have fun all at the same time. Temporarily changing course and doing something totally new will provide a much-needed psychological break. Students can take a step back from what they are doing and deeply think about where they really want to go in life.

5. Improve Career Opportunities

Gap year students who return to college invigorated about life will experience new motivation and confidence to make the most of their college experience. Gap year travel, which includes new cultural and language knowledge, will make a big difference to future employment prospects. In order to meet the needs of diverse customers, most employers seek bilingual and bi-cultural job candidates. Those who volunteer abroad will stand out from the crowd because they will have unique skills and commitment.

All of the advantages of gap years result in students receiving a head start in life that will make all the difference in the end.