12 answers

Is it better to take a year off or go straight into college after graduating high school?

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12 answers

Jo Ann’s Answer

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Having been born and raised in the Philippines, taking a year off after high school was not an option for me. I was taught that college is essential to having a successful career. But I realize now that maybe that's not the case for everyone. I'd say try to ask yourself what you'd like to do with that year, what goals you'd like to accomplish and weigh those against going to college.
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Emily K.’s Answer

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I went straight from high school to college. Often times, I feel that an 18 year old isn't prepared to know what their major should be. I would recommend going straight to college from high school but don't feel pressured to immediately pick a major unless you're dead set on what you want to do. Listen to your guidance counselor and try to take a path that lets you test out different areas of education and see what you naturally gravitate towards.
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Christine’s Answer

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Hi Anaka,

Carolyn Klineman presented a very good resource for you if you decide to take a year off prior to applying to college or a university and are interested in study abroad. This is a wonderful way to get firsthand experience if you are hoping to major in something which this study would benefit you. If on the other hand, you are not sure what you want to do with this year off, here is a good website which gives you a couple of alternatives:

https://www.petersons.com/blog/ask-the-experts-gap-year/

Here are a couple of direct quotes from this website which may peak your interest:

"<span style="color: rgb(117, 129, 137); background-color: transparent;">There are many reasons to do so, including letting off steam, maturing, pursuing particular interests, and so on. There are two main ways to approach this."</span>

<span style="color: rgb(117, 129, 137); background-color: transparent;">I am going to just hit the highlights of their 2 approaches to taking a "gap" year:</span>

<span style="color: rgb(117, 129, 137); background-color: transparent;">(1) through a deferral year. In this instance, you would apply to college as if you are heading there after high school...………..the article goes into a thorough description of what this entails and how it works</span>

<span style="color: rgb(117, 129, 137); background-color: transparent;">(2) "The second approach is to plan on a gap year" again, there is a detailed explanation of what they mean by this.</span>

<span style="color: rgb(117, 129, 137); background-color: transparent;">Anaka, going to college is an individual decision, many things need to be considered, such as finances, you just need a break from studying and want to earn some money, you are thinking about taking some courses which may help you have a greater chance of being accepted to a college or university of your choice or, you may want to study abroad and see what the world is about. Whatever you decide, try to make sure in advance you know what you will need to do when you are ready for a college education. </span>


<span style="color: rgb(117, 129, 137); background-color: transparent;">I think the best short answer to your question is follow your gut, do your due diligence as far as any repercussions that may arise and ask questions of the college or university for which you want to apply,</span>


<span style="color: rgb(117, 129, 137); background-color: transparent;">All the luck in the world to you Anaka, I hope everything works out how you are hoping they will. </span>

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Anthony’s Answer

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Anaka! Great question. One option is not better than the other. Taking a year to work, save up money, review your options for beginning a professional career is a great option, especially if you aren't sure what you'd like to do. You could even consider joining the Peace Corps or teaching English in a foreign country. I think taking some time to consider what you'd like to do and learn more about yourself is a great option.

That being said - if you feel confident on your next step and you're excited about the school you'd want to enroll in, I'd say go for it. You learn a ton about yourself and receive fabulous educations in college. But, you want to make sure you are invested in this opportunity because the time will go fast.

You don't have to have everything figured out. But, you should be thinking about where you want a college education to take you!




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Cedric’s Answer

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I would tell you it is based on what you need. I think for everybody it is a little different so you want to make sure you do what is best for you given the circumstances. Find what your passion is and move forward from there.
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Flora’s Answer

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A great question. A tricky one to answer as this depends on you, and potentially the course. I went straight from school but had chosen the wrong course. Had I have taken a year out, I might have had a clearer idea, and not made that mistake.

A year out can help broaden horizons, but make sure you use it rather than wasting it. Gaining work experience can help you know what you would like to do, as well as earn money for the next steps. Travelling does give you the opportunity to see they world, and meet people of different backgrounds and cultures. But you can work or travel in the holidays between terms so its' not necessary.

If your course is longer than 3 years I would suggest not taking a year out, as you will be so much older when you finish
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Carolyn’s Answer

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I think it depends on what you do with the year and why you want the gap year. I do not think college applications will look down on it but am not in admissions to speak anecdotally. If taking a year off will add value to your application, essay and overall experience that you will bring to a university as a student then it may be worth it.

Carolyn recommends the following next steps:

  • Explore gap year services such as https://www.goabroad.com/articles/gap-year/best-gap-year-programs
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Kortnee’s Answer

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Hi, Anaka Y.!

Consider applying for colleges/universities you are interested in attending, and you can always "defer" your admission. For example, you can apply to attend your college/university of for the fall 2019 semester and should you gain admission, you may defer your admission. In other words, you can push back your admission for the fall 2020 instead of accepting admission for fall 2019. Deferring your admission will allow you take a year off (if necessary).

Best of with your academic, future, and personal endeavors!

Sincerely,

Kortnee B.

Kortnee recommends the following next steps:

  • Check into the universities/colleges of your choice to see whether you can defer your admission prior to submitting your applications for admissions (this way you can take a year off).
  • Follow this link on more information from the Princeton Review regarding taking a gap year and deferring admission: https://www.princetonreview.com/college-advice/deferred-admissionhttps://www.princetonreview.com/college-advice/deferred-admission
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Giovanna’s Answer

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Hi Anaka, I think it is a good question to be considering and you received well-rounded responses so far.

The only thing I’d like to add is this: whether you take a year off or go straight to college - there is no wrong answer. Both choices have great options and opportunity! Both choices give experience and knowledge! Both choices can lead you down the path that you are ultimately dreaming for your future. There is power in both choices.

The question is: What is right for you? What makes the most sense for your current life state? What do you want to do now? What is best for you?

As you consider both sides and discern your choice, just remember nothing is wrong if you’re choosing the best next step for you.

Best of luck!

Giovanna


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Victoria’s Answer

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Hi Anaka,

I took a year off after college to travel and take a break between studying & starting full-time work. It gave me a chance to re-set and take some time to really think about what it was I wanted to do with my life moving forward, and what career path I wanted to take. There is no right or wrong decision though, and from personal experience, it won't set you back. Different circumstances will mean a different outcome for each person - just make sure you make the decision for you!
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Matthew’s Answer

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I think it really all depends on your circumstances because everyone has a unique situation. I was always told go to college right after highschool and do it this way. This, however, is not the best way for everyone. Gap years are very popular and can be useful to get away from the classroom for a little bit.
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Lorie’s Answer

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This is a question that can only be answered by you. It’s different for different people and there are positives and negative’s to both. If you need time to figure out what you really want to do then take the year off if you know what you want to do when you’re ready to get your nose to the grind and you don’t want to stop any “academic momentum” do you have going on from being in high school then by all means go into college but that’s a question that nobody can answer for you but you because at the end of the day everyone is different and nobody’s experiences the same.

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