Gap Year Options

It may not be your wish to go to college immediately after you finish your senior year. Maybe you want to take a break and do something different. Maybe you want to get out and see some of the world. Maybe you want to try living in a city and having a job before another long stint of school begins. Maybe you want to go help build health centers, schools, or parks. Or maybe you want to spend the year indulging in your artistry, sport, or particular talent.

If you decide that you want to get out of the school track for the year between twelfth grade and your first year of college, then you are ready to explore the possibilities of a gap year. This section of the website can help get you started! You can link to Gap Year Resources (recommended books and a list of gap year consultants), Opportunities in the U.S., and Opportunities Abroad. Consider the many options laid out here, and visit the College Counseling Office and talk to a counselor about your gap year opportunities.

Before you do any of these things it is essential that you go through the college process during your junior and senior years, just as though you were getting ready to go to college immediately after your graduation. You should attend all meetings with the college counselors, search for schools that interest you, and apply to those schools. The College Counseling Office very strongly recommends this course of action because you may then defer from a college that accepts you, and then you can go to this school the following year. Also, there is always the possibility that you will change your mind and decide that you want to go college right away after all!

If you are ready to plan a Gap Year, make it a part of your plan to document what you do and what you learn throughout your year. The vast majority of colleges will support your decision to take a year to pursue other interests, but when you come back to begin college they may want you to submit something to them that details your experiences. The form this takes may vary: some Gap Year alums have kept journals, some have written academic papers, and some have produced films. Whatever to form, in it be sure to consider these types of questions: What did you do with your time "off?" What are you taking away from your experiences?