Many new and returning students are facing into uncertain times when the new academic year begins in September. For many students, deferring admission or continuation for a year is suddenly far more attractive. Many Universities and Colleges have still to finalise if classes will be held on campus and/or on-line.
College of course is as much about campus-life experience as it is about classes. I spent eight years in Trinity and loved (almost) every minute of it. I did not have a gap year - it wasn't really a thing back in the late 70s and early 80s. Today's students must be wondering if it is worth going back to College and inevitable uncertainty, or is it a good time to step away from education and do something else?
Believe it or not - there is a Gap Year Association. It recommends four key components for making a year off before college worthwhile:
- Service work or volunteering
- Internship or career mentorship
- Some amount of paid work
- "Free Radical" - something creative, so that the year is not over-scheduled
In addition to current uncertainty, students may experience burnout from the competitive pressure of College, and have a desire to know more about themselves. Travel is also a good reason to take a gap year - but this may remain restricted for some time. Why take a gap year if you can't travel the world?
On balance - I think this would be the perfect time for a gap year if you can afford it. While travel may be restricted, and opportunities for casual work in bars and restaurants reduced - there is still plenty to do.
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