The traditional education ladder from prekindergarten to college in the United States of America is now changing and there is a new spin on planning one’s future. Danielle Woods, a writer for Today MSNBC, stated that, “A growing number of high school seniors are balking at riding the academic conveyer belt from preschool all the way to the university. They’re burnt out. Or not quite ready. Or they want to explore a few interests before deciding what to study in college” (Woods). The time off she is referring to is Gap Year, an amount of time from six months to two or three years to experience life. A Gap Year can be seen as traveling time, participating in Gap Year programs, volunteer work, or simply working to save for college. Gap Year is time for one who is not ready or accepted to college to preparing oneself for the future, the gain skills and experience. Not only is Gap Year effective, but now colleges and employers are pushing high school students to take time off. Gap Year should be an American tradition because it helps one succeed.
For those students who are not quite ready to make a decision affecting the rest of their lives, Gap Year is a chance for one to mature and discover oneself. If students are thrown into the college life to soon, through Woods studies has shown that “three out of five students who enter a public four-year college don’t manage to snag a degree within five years. And nearly 30 percent of all students who enter college don’t return for their sophomore year” (Wood). Not only was the educational outcomes unwanted, but similarly parents “…don’t see those (their) kids binge drinking or dropping out or doing any of those things that show you they are in the wrong place at the wrong time...
MacDonald, Jeffrey G. "'Gap Year' Before College Gives Grads Valuable Life Experience." USA Today 18 June 2008: n. pag. Web. 4 Apr 2011. .
Sparks, Sarah D., and Kay Dorko. "Scholars Suggest Adding 'Gap Year' May Encourage College Completion." Education Week 30.4 (2010): 12-13. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Web. 4 Apr. 2011.
Stehlik, Tom. "Mind the gap: school leaver aspirations and delayed pathways to further and higher education." Journal of Education & Work 23.4 (2010): 363-376. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Web. 4 Apr. 2011.
Wood, Danielle. "Should your child have a ‘gap year’ before college? ." Today Parenting 22 Apr 2008: n. pag. Web. 4 Apr 2011. .