When you’re a freshman in high school your guidance counselors’ will start talking to you about your future. They explain to you that right after you graduate high school you should go straight into college. We are one of the few countries that do this. Most of Europe takes a gap year. A gap year is defined as a period, typically an academic year, taken by a student as a break between secondary school and higher education.
During this time off from learning the student can do anything he or she wants. Most people travel in different programs, others work. In my case, I went straight to work. While I was in high school I went to a tech program for cosmetology, where I later got my license. However, I was not a practicing cosmetologist, as in I did not work at a salon. Instead, I took on a couple of different jobs. I went to working and being able to occasionally travel when I pleased. In my opinion, taking a gap year was the best decision I ever made.
During my time off from my education, I was able to make money to be able to take care of myself and save for my eventual return to the educational system. My gap year ended up turning into a gap year and a half, but that is okay too. During my endeavors of working non-stop, I realized that I needed to get back to school and work toward my goals. Taking my gap year made me realize what I wanted to do with my life and made me appreciate the educational system more than I had ever before.
In our country, it is frowned upon to not go onto higher education right after high school, but after their first semester/year in college more and more students are coming home because they don’t know what they are not ready to be in college yet. They don’t know what they want to become. All of our lives we live at home with our parents, they take care of us. They help us with our homework, gas money, laundry, cooking/ feeding us. Suddenly at the age of 18, we are thrown out into the world and told that we need to decide what we want to do for the rest of our lives, or at least the next 50 years.
A gap year is not ideal for everyone and not ideal in our country, but most people find more satisfaction with their career choices after they have had some real world experiences. Taking my gap year was the best decision I ever made, with my new respect for higher education I have decided that I need to take advantage of my full potential. I went from a young woman who had nothing but color and hair to look forward to, to a mature woman who has made a plan for her life and plans to go to medical school.