English Com. 121
8 October 2014
Are They Worth The Risk?
Every year, students fresh out of high school re locate to a new temporary home for college, ready to start the next chapter of life. While eager to do so, many students do not have a clue to what they want to pursue or pick majors that they are unsure of. A recent study released by ACT, College Choice Report Part 1: Preferences and Prospects, stated that nearly 80% of high school students taking the ACT selected a major they intended to select in college. However, 64% of those students choose a major that did not fit with their academic strengths and interests. This could have the possibility of increasing the number of students who change their majors which is never a bad thing, but time is money in the economy, and money is something that should not be wasted. Many students will not admit such a secret, but most are not ready to start college and are still slightly burned out from the work of high school. A solution to this problematic situation is an old trend, yet still commonly popular around the world, called a “Gap Year”. Taking time off may seem like a dangerous thought, but it is important to take time to dedicate yourself to finding out who you are, that’s why a gap year can help you save money in the long run, expand your knowledge of the world around you and even help your grades.
One of the most difficult periods of life for a young adult, is college. Studying for classes, commuting, new expectations, and the list could go on for a long time, but one thing that tops it all is student debt. It is important to pick the right school and the right major, because if not, a lot of valuable time and money is wasted that could have gone into something that was a much better fit. This is where a “gap year” could be a helpful solution in the long run. It may not seem like a great idea at first and can even seem ludicrous that this idea could even save money, but if done correctly it can. The idea is that by taking a couple of months or a year off, the student should get a job, something that is new and can tech he or she a new set of skills, volunteer for a charity or help around the community. “I’ve had parents tell me their child would probably have dropped out after first semester or year because they were so turned off by their classes in the academic experience, but a gap year helped them get excited and gave them a focus.” (Bull). Doing these activities can help one work through the process of finding their true calling and could possibly help them decide what major is right for them. Instead of diving head first off the highest cliff and into the cold, murky water below, the student has instead decided to take the scenic route and dip their feet into the clear water of the beaches. However, this can also be a bad idea for the irresponsible or lazy people who decide to take a year off. If instead of working they decide to slack off, they have wasted time and money that could be put towards their future and discovering more about the world and themselves.
With so much around to explore, there is only a limited amount of time to do so while being young. While being young, our wallets are either empty from not working or full from working too much, and with school and curfews, these limits present a barricade to going far and exploring. College is a time to break these limits and explore, but there are still those barricades to a certain degree, which in life there will always be. But taking a gap year lessens the limits by extreme lengths, even promoting travelling and getting outside the usual comfort zone. By taking time off you learn a horizon of new things and get to explore uncharted areas of life that can be helpful to know for the future. Colleges, like Princeton and the University of North Carolina, are even supportive of this trend and even offer scholarships to scholars who decide to embark on such...
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