Well, it’s about that time of year again. As fourth quarter rolls around, students are left with obsessive thoughts about their futures.

Well, it’s about that time of year again. As fourth quarter rolls around, students are left with obsessive thoughts about their futures. For those seniors with college in the plan after a nearing graduation, there may be something different to cogitate on: are you ready for college?


Commonly known as a “gap year,” some students opt to take a year off between graduating high school and starting their first semester at their college of choice. Many advising adults see this as a waste of time or the lazy way out, but there are both pros and cons to every subject matter.

A gap year is utilized by students who just need a break. The high school education system can be stressful, and a gap year gives students  some time to breathe and collect themselves before diving back into the stress that is the college education system.

Also, for many students who plan to be doctors, lawyers and assorted professionals, a gap year gives them time to discover themselves and have fun before going to college. The average doctor would be in the higher education system for at least 10 years. After graduating from medical school, a career would have to be established in order to support themselves. A gap year gives a chance to get out and explore before being tied down to a school or a career while you’re still young enough to enjoy it.

Although gap years could be beneficial, a significant chunk of those who decide to chill before pursuing higher education find themselves pursuing other things. The loss of motivation is not uncommon.

Likewise, another problem with taking a gap year is with those who take the year to goof off, sit in front of the television and watch Netflix. If you do not feed your mind for a year, it will starve. It will be harder to get back into the swing of things academically if you have taken a year to do nothing rather than coming straight out of high school when the knowledge is still fresh.


So if you are one of the aforementioned cogitating seniors who still don’t know what to do with their lives, don’t be afraid to wait a while and figure it out, but know the cost and the consequences.

There is nothing wrong with taking a year to find yourself or to mature. There is nothing wrong with diving right in. Either way, you get the degree, and that’s what it’s all about anyway, right?

Story by Zakiya Austin, Malik Brazile and Sarah Emily Rish

Photo by Sarah Emily Rish