Bridging The Gap Essay

1296 WordsApr 4, 20126 Pages
Bridging the Gap The average high school student in America believes that after graduation, you are expected to go straight to college; however, this mentality may need a little reevaluation. Many students do not realize the benefits one can gain from taking time off before heading to college. Whether it is getting financially stable by working, learning about new cultures through traveling, or experiencing the world in a different way to help choose one’s career, taking a ‘gap year’ should be introduced to all high school students. According to the School of Education at the University of South Australia, a gap year is defined as a time between the end of school and the beginning of further studies in which young people engage in a variety of activities, including paid work, voluntary work or travel (Stehlik). Gap years have long been common in the UK, Australia, New Zealand and Canada, but organized programs gained traction in the United States only in recent years. Formal recognition of the gap year by the higher education sector is rare but not entirely unrecognized, as universities such as Princeton have implemented a “Bridge Year.” More colleges and universities, such as Amherst College and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, are adopting formal policies allowing students to defer admission. "Gap fairs" promoting various programs (usagapyearfairs.org) have multiplied in the past four years totaling 30 nationwide (Shellenbarger). Although a gap year may not be the best choice for all students, taking a look at options other than college should not be frowned upon, but rather encouraged. I feel I am a very good example of this. At 17 years old, Division I universities started recruiting me for volleyball. The process of choosing a school appeared to be the normal transition into life after high school, and I chose George

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