7 reasons why you should avoid a gap-year

We discuss 7 reasons why students considering a gap year should re-consider their options and the consequences involved.

You might never make it back to school. This is one of the biggest reasons people list when they say students shouldn’t take a gap year. It can be hard to jump back into academia after you’ve had a taste of living on your own without having to worry about school for the first time since you were a toddler. You can get used to the lifestyle you start living and it can be hard to motivate yourself to go back for many reasons. Some people find they like the slower paced lifestyle they adopt during their gap year; some people enjoy making a living and don’t want to give that up to go back to school.

1. Cons of Taking a Year Off Before College

Taking a year off before college is not a perfect solution for all students. It can derail your educational plans and make it harder to get back on track. Before making the choice to do this, consider the drawbacks as well as the benefits: 

2. Transition Back to School Could Be More Difficult

You are already in the “school” mode of life. Taking a year off can make it difficult to get back into the swing of things. Your study habits and learning abilities may slide as you take that year off. If you are not particularly passionate about education, this is a factor worth considering. 

3. Feel Behind Your Peers

When you go to school after your year off, some of your peers will be a year ahead of you. You may be one of the older freshmen in your class. For many students, this is not an issue. An increased number of adult learners in the current college landscape makes it less of a problem, but you do need to consider if you will feel behind if you are a year behind everyone you graduated high school with. 

4. Lost Momentum

You have momentum coming out of high school. You are excited about the educational opportunities that wait in college. If you take a year off to work, you might lose that momentum. Thankfully, the research shows that 90% of students who take a gap year do end up going to college, so that lost momentum is not always a huge problem. 

5. Expensive

Gap years spent working can bring in income. Gap years spent traveling and enjoying life experiences can be expensive. Before you take a gap year, make sure you are using it wisely and can afford the experiences you want to have. 

6. You might lose your academic 'groove'.

Have you ever tried to help a younger family member with their homework and struggling to explain how to find the answer? It's a common scenario, and it usually arises from the time gap since you last worked with that material or method. Practice makes perfect, and not practicing something over months or years can cause you to struggle to remember some key techniques or skills!

At some point, most students in elementary or middle school encountered a mathematics question such as 15.24 ÷ 0.1096 and were likely able to solve it. Without having to practice these types of questions for years or decades, many people are able to answer it without struggling at least a little! It's an example of just what our brain forgets after losing exposure to it.

An advantage of entering post-secondary immediately after high school is that you are still in-tuned with your study skills and knowledge from your grade 12 year, making some subjects 'easier' to get into the groove of.

7. Most scholarships dry up after exiting high school.

Most institutions offer the bulk of their scholarships, awards & bursaries to students entering university for their first year. A large portion of this money is frequently reserved for students exiting high school. Students who take a gap year will no longer be entering as a freshly graduated high school student, meaning they may lose access to some scholarships they would have previously applied for.

Students at St. Peter's College are eligible to keep all of their USask scholarships as well as any winnings from the $107,000+ in scholarships that SPC offers. The deadline to apply for SPC scholarships to gain access to these funds is June 21st. All USask students are eligible to apply to St. Peter's College to gain access to the additional scholarship pool. 

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