Taking a gap year can be an excellent time to regroup and reflect after graduating high school. A few things to note about a gap year:
- You should still search for and apply to universities during your senior year. Most schools will allow you to defer your admission and scholarships for a year if you let them know your plans. Do not try to juggle a job or City Year and the college application process!
- A gap year can be transformational, and can help you realize what you would like to do in the future. Know that it is increasingly common for students entering college to feel the same way.
- A gap year can be very expensive. Unfortunately, jobs available to those with a high school diploma do not often pay well enough for individuals to live the way they did with their parents.
- A plan is essential. Consider writing down why you want to take a gap year, what you hope to achieve with it, and how you will afford to live during that year.
- Talk with your counselors and admissions counselors about your plan. There may be opportunities you are not aware of, or answers to concerns you have about entering college in the fall.
During your gap year, do you want to:
Get a job?
Consider the following as you weigh whether working before entering college is right for you:
- Where will you live?
- How will you get around?
- What if you become ill?
- With the additional expense of living on your own, can you afford time to relax?
Do volunteer work?
AmeriCorps NCCC (National Civilian Community Corps) is a volunteer service organization that provides housing, training, and offers scholarships to individuals willing to offer volunteer service for one year.
City Year, part of AmeriCorps, is an opportunity to work in high-need schools to close the achievement gap. City Year serves locations all across the United States, including Tulsa. More on City Year as a gap year.
Interested in agriculture and organic farming? According to their website, WWOOF-USA volunteers "spend about half a day helping out on a host farm, learn about the organic movement and sustainable agriculture, and receive room and board during their visit."
Unlike those above, many programs are not free. Opportunities such as those listed on gapyear.com can be life-changing, but you will need to find funding for them.