Gap year giving students opportunity; Student fights feelings of discouragement


Julianna Spangler

Senior Julianna Spangler is planning to do a gap year for the upcoming school year. Spangler felt discouraged to attend college right away.


  “Covid and potentially having all online classes discouraged me from wanting to attend college right away,” states Senior Julianna Spangler. Spangler is planning to do a gap year for the upcoming school year. 

     A gap year “is a time between high school and college where a student switches from traditional academic classroom learning to other meaningful ways of continuing their education,” according to Global Citizen. Gap years can be beneficial for several different reasons including, learning another language, getting leadership skills, or gaining hands-on experience as an intern or employee, according to Mikael Mulgeta of Best Colleges. 

     Spangler’s main reason for doing the gap year was her feeling of not being ready for college. During her gap year Spangler states that she will be working full-time, “during my gap year I am searching for a potential career choice and stability overall.” Spangler also expects that she will have no financial problems with attending college after her gap year because she will be working. 

     Research supports Spangler’s choice to work full-time during her gap year, “Students who have taken a gap year report higher job satisfaction. Taking some quality time to find a career that matches your skills, passion, and talents and then build experience and education around it is important and might make all the difference later in life,” states Isabelle of EF Education. 

     “The benefits to taking a gap year would be, gaining confidence to take a step back and focus on what is in front of you. There’s no rush into starting your adult life and a lot of individuals don’t even get a job in the field they have a degree [in]. Taking time to figure out what you want saves time, money, and stress,” Spangler explains. 

     Although Spangler believes there are a lot of positives to taking a gap year, she also mentions that a “drawback” would be feeling “like you’re not on the right path” but she adds, “everyone is different, you shouldn’t be afraid to do what’s in your best interest.” 

     A common fear of taking a gap year is, according to EF Education, being uncomfortable while doing a gap year. EF Education also mentions a solution to this fear saying the statement, “embrace it! Taking a gap year is about breaking free from typical patterns and giving yourself the time and space to figure things out about yourself and the world you live in.” 

     Another common fear is not wanting to go back to school after taking time off, Spangler however, is not afraid of this. Spangler states, “I don’t think it will be hard to transition from the gap year into my future plans. I am going to be planning for my later schooling and working on my priorities while I’m taking time off.”