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If there is anything I have learned by researching gap years, it's that they are not a vacation. When most people think of gap years, they imagine teenagers goofing off and lounging around during that time. However, I have come to find that most students take their gap years very seriously. They spend their time volunteering and helping the community. Although they may travel to another country, they are still usually working and learning. While I am sure there are some students that don't take this time seriously, they are few and far between.
Students who are not volunteering are usually working a full time job, trying to save up money for college. Education is expensive and student loans are not always the best idea. The third thing they might be doing is researching more about the major they are looking into. Some students participate in internships and this helps them learn more about the field they are pursuing. This is a great learning process for many and also creates connections for the student. "A well thought-out gap year can help students think about what their education is all about and maybe even re-invent themselves," said Bob Clagett.
Parents are becoming more open to the idea of a gap year because they are realizing that it is a serious time of self discovery, growth, and education. They are more willing to pay for their students to take a year off when they know that it will benefit them in the future. Gap years are not for everyone, but for some they are more valuable than heading straight off into college.