Is a Gap Year Really Required?May 4, 2021 2021-05-05 10:47
Is a Gap Year Really Required?
Is a Gap Year Really Required?
Many of us students often end up facing the dilemma of, should we take a gap year or not? It is a huge question that leaves both parents and students confused for the future steps that they should take in their educational journey. However, there are many myths and fears surrounding gap years that simply aren’t true. So let us understand what they’re all about!
What is a Gap Year?
Gap years, also known as bridge years, are situations when a student spends a year or semester away from an academic environment in order to indulge in learning experiences. Gap years are usually taken before the start of college or somewhere in the first couple of undergraduate years. The decision of taking a gap year is a question that is pondered about by both students and families.
The Current Indian Context Around Shore Leave:
In India and other Asian countries, society places heavy pressure on schoolchildren to excel academically so that they can get entry into the elite and prestigious colleges and universities in the country. The IIMs and the IITs are a dream for nearly every school student and their parents. Pressuring the student to top their school work classes as well as put in effort above and beyond in order to crack the relevant competitive examinations, is no new sight to the Asian youth. The culture of academic excellence and achievement is a huge challenge to students wishing to enroll in the top Ivy Leagues and universities globally. What many people fail to understand is that these colleges also seek to find out the student’s adaptability outside classroom activities.
Reasons Why You Should Consider A Gap Year:
There are several reasons why one should consider taking a gap year from education.
Firstly, a break is very helpful to protect and maintain one’s physical and mental health. Continuous studying in a high-stress environment for extended periods right after high school is extremely stressful and might be too much for many students to handle.
Secondly, this time period can be taken out and channeled into preparations for better academic outcomes. This can be done in several ways. Students can take vocational education courses to develop their skills in their areas of interest. They can also spend time preparing entrance exams such as JEE, NEET, and GATE. Lastly, those aspiring for overseas studies can also prepare and take the necessary tests such as TOEFL, and IELTS to make themselves eligible to study abroad.
The Gap Year serves as an avenue to build a strong extracurricular profile. Many officials from Harvard have started taking a gap year boosts your chances of acceptance into top colleges. Your activities can become the distinguishing factor that gets you admission. You can spend your time in extracurricular work by following your passions, doing an internship, playing sports under a team, and doing social service. All these activities prove that you are a dynamic individual even outside the academic world which makes you stand out from the pack.
- Is taking a gap year wasteful for my child?: Many parents fear that their children are just going to waste away their gap year playing games and hanging out with friends. This problem is easily solved when you have a strong vision and a comprehensive plan of action. Secondly, it is also important on the children and parents’ part to supervise their behavior and ensure that they follow through with healthy practices and activities.
- What if the students feels peer pressure of joining college?: Many students fall victim to a fear of missing out, because all around them, they see their friends instantly joining colleges without taking a gap year. This is a sensitive situation and parents have to really sit down and weigh off the benefits and costs of taking the gap year. All of this has to be communicated to the child as well so that they understand the reason behind their gap year and do not feel left behind by their peers. Without the constant stress of academics, students will be able to form stronger and more meaningful relationships.
- Will taking a gap year negatively affect my chances of admission?: Again this is an unreasonable fear. What matters more to Admission officers is how you have utilized the gap year that gives you the edge.
To sum it all up, taking a gap year is a very personal choice. Your course of action should be to carefully sit down and think about whether you really need a gap year or not. There are definitely benefits to it, but you should also consider whether joining further studies straightway is a better call for you. Gap Years are a great way for you to take a breather, reorient yourself and come back a much stronger and happier student!