Inthis modern society gap year is a widely known and prevalent concept.
Movingout of home, and setting out to dicover oneself promises world of adventures, chancesand dire changes in ones usual way of living. Already existing researchdone on gap year shows a great number of perks of taking a year off between finishingschool and before the enrollment into university. In his book “GapYear: How Delaying College Changes People in Ways the World Needs” Joe O’Shea mentions thatthrough several surveys researchers discovered that students who took a “yearoff” entered college on equal rates with those who commenced their studiesright after finishing school. In addition, he points out that the year actuallyimproved their academic performance in college, especially of those whograduated school with lower average grades. (Birch and Miller 2007; Crawfordand Cribb 2012). Throughout the last ten years the increased number of studentstaking a gap year brought a mass attention to the topic thus creating acontroversial debate.
However, the abundance of analysis and articles writtenin favour of the gap year advocate the pros over any cons of the argument. Theadditional year brings immense improvement in psychological development of young adults by boosting theirself-confidence and enhancing personal and social growth. Starting a new chapter inlife can be daunting for most people, but for some it seems even moreterrifying. The stress of a unfamiliar school, mostly independent learning styleand for some even a move to a different country after years of hassle of keepingup with school classes, homework and extracurricular activities might put a lot ofpressure and strain on a juniors body and mind. Gap year provides a much neededbreak from academics for students to recharge and work on oneself.
The year canbe spent doing sports, hobbies,volunteering or studying a course abroad.Thisactivities widely influence young adults in a positive matter. For example, inhis study of students living in Europe for a semester, G.Gmelch notes that atthe end most of them acknowledged two main areas of change.The first one is a boostof self-confidence in unfamiliar environment and situations. One studentmentions an embarassing story that she encountered and overcame refering to it as a “mental victory”. Another advancein students’ personalities wasb an increase in adaptability.
Without thecomfort of their own home they learned to handle and confront unfamiliar situationsa lot better than previous to their travells. (G.Gmelch,1997). Althougha lot of students choose to take that time to gaining work experience ,themajority of them still prefer traveling as a main purpose of obtaining a yearoff. Travelling throughout the world for a year certainly broadens horizons andpossibly changes how a person perceives the world around him or her.
Hence whyin Haigler& Nelson independent study of 280 gap year students they outline mainoutcome of a gap year being: “A betterunderstanding of other countries, people, cultures, and ways of living”. Duringthose twelve months students grow exceptionallypersonally by gaining life and work experience and are inclined futher to explore study and career options. Moreover,U.
K. Foreign Secretary, J. Straw advertised Gap Year reasoning that it brings more maturity and responsibilityinto youngsters. In addition ,society only benefits from travelling as itactively encourages personal development and confidence. (as cited in Simpson,2005).
People and the experiences encountered during this journey teach lessonsthat can not be taught in a classroom.However,according to the life span theory of control postponing grogress in transitionbrings unfavorable results and poor welfare. As reported by Heckhausen and his co-workers(e.g., Haase et al., 2008; Heckhausen, Wrosch, & Schulzn, 2010; Heckhausen& Schulz, 1995) it is crucial to achievea number of goals before the progressionto another stage which becomes a somewhat developmental deadline.
Concentrating on aims helps young adults to focus onsuccess and lower any chance of failure which can be increased by avoiding orpostponing transitions.