The author of the paper states that supporters of taking a year off before college state that the time off allows for planning and embracing of the studies that one chooses to pursue. Naysayers on the other hand state that taking time off is wasting precious time that should instead be spent studying and that one may end up putting off school entirely. Both arguments, however, raise the important aspect of planning where naysayers feel this should happen while one is in high school and supporters feel that after high school is the appropriate time. Traditionally, one would enroll into college right after high school and this was seen to allow time to pursue further academic qualifications. Presently, though, employment opportunities have become scarce owing to factors such as high competition in the job market and this require that one carefully choose a career that they can specialize in and stand out. A year off, commonly referred to as gap year, allows for a student to take a step back and reassess their future where they develop a sense of self-awareness and experience with volunteering activities as well as internships (Torpey 26). Supporting Argument The last year of high school is usually stressful for students due to the fact that there are assignments to be done and final exams to be studied for. Therefore, this year requires a student to remain focused while removing all distractions that come from worrying about college and excitement of finishing high school. This is why it is important to take a year off before joining college where this time will be spent identifying one’s personal goals and planning for a career that one actually has interest in. This is achieved through volunteer activities and internships where one gets the opportunity to seek mentorship and guidance from professionals in various areas of expertise including career counselors. In addition, parents and guardians can use this time to sit down and discuss their children’s career plan and life in general. this is essential as it gives a student a chance to have a role model to look up to and emulate (Torpey 27-28). Time off before joining college provides a student with a chance to rejuvenate as the final year of high school leaves many burnt out from the pressures of final exams and assignments. Experts suggest that one should not look at a gap year as simply time off but rather a state of mind that enables one to choose an activity that interests them and gain experience that will be useful in the future. In addition,the time taken off does not necessarily have to be a year where a few months is sufficient as well. Time off allows one to mature both emotionally and intellectually since it is an opportunity to initiate a process of learning skills and gaining personal insight. During this time one becomes independent, develops self-esteem and maturity to think outside the box where career counselors term this as evolution. A gap year presents young adults with their first taste of freedom, as there are no academic obligations brought about by higher education. and this sets off a sense of responsibility as one learns to manage time and make decisions independently. Time off facilitates a sense of self-reliance in students and this helps them embrace college studies more thus being more eager to learn and study. The transition into college becomes easier as one can confidently plan routine activities such as buying groceries and doing laundry, without sacrificing time for studying (Giegerich). Likewise, it is important to consider that taking time off may involve study where one chooses to learn a new language in its native country.
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