Gap year becomes increasingly popular


Caitlin Rademacher

Junior Giorgi Ferrari, pictured, plans to take a gap year to save money on her college tuition. “It was a simple decision to make. I will save thousands of dollars while getting to spend my first year as an emancipated young adult in an incredible state. It’s going to be a completely new experience, Ferrari said.

Andy Bjerk, Social Media Reporter

The traditional high school student goes on to a four year college with nothing but summer in between graduation and their freshman year. This could be because a student is completely ready for the next chapter in their academic career or because it is what the rest of their family did. This trend is becoming increasingly less common.

More and more high school students are deciding to take a gap year before venturing off to college. A gap year, sometimes called a sabbatical year, is a year before starting college and after graduating from high school in which students may choose to spend in a variety of ways. Some choose to take challenging pre-college courses in subjects such as math and language, while others spend the yearlong break travelling or working.

Going to college in another state is pricey. The cost of out-of-state tuition is typically much greater than it is for those who live there. Because of this, students going to an out-of-state school may take a gap year to establish residency in that state to reduce the cost of their tuition.

Junior Giorgi Ferrari said, “I am moving to Olympia, Washington, where I plan on going to school at the Evergreen State College. Since I first learned of its existence, Evergreen has been my dream school. While researching their costs of attendance, I realized that tuition for non residents in almost three times more expensive than what it would cost as a Washington resident. This dramatic gap caught my attention because I am paying for my education on my own.”

There are also times when an opportunity arises and a student decides to take advantage of it. It could be anything from a trip to a job or internship. It takes guts for someone to make the decision to abandon their previous path of going straight to college, but can lead to an incredible growing experience.

Senior Jasmine Amos said, “Taking a year off school wasn’t my original plan. I always saw myself going to college right away. I have an opportunity of a lifetime though; my cousin is in the Navy and needs a roommate while he is back in San Diego before another deployment.

For kids who are not quite sure what they are looking to study in college, a gap year could be the perfect thing to do. During the time off there is more time to think about and explore one’s interests before jumping into college courses. The average college student changes their major four times; taking a gap year could provide just the right amount of time to really center in on what a student wants to study.

Ferrari said, “It was a simple decision to make. I will save thousands of dollars while getting to spend my first year as an emancipated young adult in an incredible state. It’s going to be a completely new experience. I look forward to living on my own and supporting myself. Spend your gap year transitioning into the responsible and beautiful human you’re meant to be.”

The growing popularity of gap years is not by accident. The benefits of taking time off have proven to be beneficial for students. Whether that time is for work, travel or simply to take a break, graduating students should consider the option of a gap year.