7 Reasons Why You Might Want To Take A Gap Year After High School

So many of us are ingrained to follow a very specific trajectory when it comes to education. We’re expected to go straight from high school to college and know exactly what we want to study for the next three or four years of our lives.

Miraculously–sarcasm, everyone–lots of people don’t know what the hell they want to study for the next few years of their lives. I think Daria said it best:


“My goal is not to wake up at 40 with the bitter realization that I’ve wasted my life on a job I hate because I was forced to decide on a career in my teens.” Uh, word, Daria.

Others don’t even feel emotionally prepared to jump right into university after an anxiety filled senior year. And plenty of students know exactly what they want to do in college, but they just want a bit of a break. If any of the aforementioned things apply to you, you might want to consider taking a gap year–in other words, a year off–after leaving high school and before college.

I jumped straight into college after high school, but I know of a few people who took advantage of a gap year before powering through uni. This practice is a lot more common in the UK and Europe than the rest of the world, but its increasing in popularity in places like the US. Many American universities now allow students to defer their acceptance from specifically for gap year purposes. Are you feeling curious? Well, here are seven reasons why you might want to consider taking a gap year.

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Posted in: Being Yourself, Beliefs
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  • Savanna

    That Daria quote is spot on. I swear she’s my spirit animal. Anyways, I’m been considering this recently, since my parents asked me about what I wanted do after high school and they mentioned if I wanted to take a gap year. So I’m really glad that they’re okay if I don’t go to college. I know there’s some parents out there who’d be ashamed if their child didn’t want to go to college. College is a big deal though, but I don’t want to throw myself into that when I’m not ready because I can’t decide what I want to for the rest of my life.

    I also hate how there’s this thing about college. There’s teachers, parents, guidance counselors, etc. who push college onto the students like it’s the only option. Also they expect teenagers to know what they want to do. I can’t even decide what I want to eat sometimes. I’m just saying that college isn’t the only option.

  • klbran

    I live in the US and I took a gap year after High School. I just started back at school last Monday. If there is any one debating on whether they should take one or not I would highly recommend it. I worked and saved up my money for school during that year and I also had time to travel and find myself. It was great and I don’t regret any bit of it. I feel like I have what I want to do with my life and who I am figured out. Thats more than what most have at my age (I am 19). Yes it does go against the social norms but who cares? Its YOUR life. Your story. If you want to do it, do it. I had many people disagree with me taking a year off but I told them to shove it. Its my life and your life is your life. If you really want to take a year off, do it. Don’t be discouraged by what other people want you to do.

  • ji

    Horrible idea. Everyone of my friends that were supppsed to take a ‘break’ never went to college

    • …And plenty of people I know took a year off either after already getting accepted into college and just deferred a year or applied after a year or two. If the people you knew never went to college they probably didn’t really want to go in the first place. College isn’t for everyone, though.

      • klbran

        Not a horrible idea. I took a year off and I am at school now. I also know plenty of other people who have done the same thing. It all depends on your maturity and discipline level.

  • marthaannbrown

    I So Needed This

  • Hailey

    I talked to my parents about maybe taking a gap year. They said if I did, they would disown me. :/