More and more U.S. high school graduates are following the British trend of taking a “gap year” between high school and college. I want to determine whether the gap year is beneficial to students that have just graduated high school. Individuals who take a gap year have an opportunity to travel to a foreign country, get a job where they can earn job experience, earn money to help get them through school, or volunteer both at home and/or abroad. There is an intriguing array of options now available to students who want to choose to wait a year before starting college. I myself wish that I would have taken a year off to travel and get some worldly experience. I believe that it is a very beneficial option that many students should start taking advantage of. The gap year is a good topic for me to research this semester. RATIONALE:
I have not traveled to a foreign country before nor have I taken a year off of school to do so. I am extremely interested in maybe doing so. College is a big transition to make after graduating high school. Since I’ve come to college I have felt mostly confident with my choice of school and furthering my education. As time goes on and I meet new people and hear different stories I have become more tempted to take a year off to travel. I’m not sure how my parents would react to this decision but from what I’ve researched and heard it would be an amazing experience that I most likely would not regret. Being at college has led me to question who I am and I what I truly want to do with my life. Because of those questions I have, I believe that researching the topic of the gap year would be very beneficial because I would be invested in the topic. The gap year has been most popular in Europe. Slowly the idea is taking root in the US as evidence by the increased number or articles written each year about the growing phenomenon. There has also been an increase in the number of programs available to students considering this option. I think that many parents might be afraid to let their children take a year off to explore by themselves. There are downfalls such as how much it might cost and so on. Many might not agree that taking a year off will motivate students more as well. Gap year travelers often return with greater confidence and a much more open-minded and mature approach to life, which can help them to gain greater focus for college life and improve their interpersonal skills for their future career (Tomer). Researching this topic will work well because it is a worldly and manageable topic that is gaining more interest from many different people. Some colleges are beginning to recommend taking a gap year because it leads to more motivated students. In the case of students who don’t feel that college is for them, the gap year offers many ways for them to find out if continuing their education is the right option. Harvard admissions Dean William Fitzsimmons has co-written a paper called Time Out or Burn Out for the Next Generation arguing that after the pressure student’s face in high school, devoting a year to their own pursuits prepares them for academia (Chatzky). I believe that a gap year can help students gain a better understanding of whom they are what they want to do or be when they grow up. I also hope to show that a gap year is not all just fun and games but an opportunity to open student’s eyes to the different opportunities that are available in the world. I believe that by researching the gap year I will be able to find out how it may resolve the problem of students just thinking college is one big party. REQUEST:
I want to figure out the actual benefits of taking the opportunity to take a year off and experience the world. I am requesting your approval to research the gap year this semester because it will be manageable and I am invested in finding out the answers to my questions. This is a good topic for my research paper because of the growing interest in the gap year in the US and also the growing number of programs available to students. It is a growing trend with obvious benefits and I am committed to finding out if the benefits are real.