Pros and Cons of a Gap Year


4b Gap Year Outcomes, provided by Gap Year Association

As juniors and seniors prepare for the next life chapter in pursuing college, nyma may toy with the idea of taking a gap year. Here are many of the pros and cons to consider:


  1. Gain worldly experience and a new sense of oneself. Through a gap year, you may choose to travel the world and experience many cultures. This is a great experience, and this may be your only chance to explore the world the way you want to.
  2. Time to pursue other passions. Taking a year off will allow you to find your voice or discover hidden talents or interests you might not have originally found had you started campus life immediately. 
  3. Opportunity to work and get money. This can give you a financial boost in paying for college expenses. Student debt is all too common in our country, and it is something most of us will have to deal with. Taking time off to lessen this burden is a great opportunity to lighten your future worries. 
  4. It could look impressive on your College Application. If you chose to do productive things during this time, such as working at volunteer programs, finding meaningful internships or gaining worldly knowledge and how it impacted you, this could make you a more interesting candidate. 
  5. Life experience can make you better prepared for university.  Gap years can be a time in your life in which you will obtain a rich and valuable life lessons you won’t be able to attain in a classroom. You will also gain a sense of true independence if you spend your gap year traveling, and will better prepare you for independent study and living during campus life. 


  1. Risk of losing academic momentum. After returning from a year break from studying, it can be difficult to find the motivation to continue another four or more years of intense studying.
  2. Risk of wasting a lot of valuable time. If you fail to follow through on pursuing anything of importance during this time, you might end up reflecting back on your year and realizing you spent your time binging Netflix. 
  3. You will be a year behind. All of your peers will be a year younger than you, and your friends who choose not to take a gap year will graduate before you. 
  4. It can be extremely expensive. If you chose to travel internationally during this time, you will be spending a lot of money on travel expenses, which can pile up quickly. This is not ideal if you’re expected to pay for your tuition on top of all these expenses.
  5. It’s an overall risk. You could risk everything and waste a lot of time and money in the process. If you are sure that a gap year is for you, be sure to sit down and plan out how you will spend your time.