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Graduating is the key part of going to school well and of course gaining knowledge and social skills while reaching that end goal. But when graduation hits there are already people deciding what colleges they are going to go to and what majors they will have. They never even think about all the different places they could go or the things they could do on instead of just following the majority. That is what a gap-year is it is to discover all the different things this world has to offer and going on an adventure is the best way to do it although it may be expensive it will be well worth it. In a recent study done it shows that ” not only do the students go on to perform better than their non-gap-year classmates, they also tend to end up in more satisfying careers”(McPhate). It is also growing immensely and is being accepted more by lots of colleges and universities “including all eight institutions in the Ivy League system” they have been also encouraging the choice to take a gap-year for new freshmen(McPhate). This has been looked upon more recently because of President Obama’s oldest daughter Malia who is attending Harvard in the fall of 2017 after she decided to take a gap-year. But even Harvard University has been “urging members” for decades to take a year off. In a recent essay that William Fitzsimmons, Harvard dean of admissions released it stated that “faced with the fast pace of growing up today, some students are clearly distressed, engaging in binge drinking and other destructive behaviors”(qtd in McPhate). Though they might be good to get people out in the real world and experiencing different adventures. Gap-years can be expensive, it is said that the “financial barriers to embarking on a gap year can be too much for some families”( McPhate). A gap year with a year long international program can be as much as $35,000. Though some gap years can be little to no cost. A group called Americorps’ City Year, pays students to travel to different countries and teach for the year. Another popular choice that some people includes the program called Global Citizen Year, this groups provides more financial support of students and according to McPhate it has given “more than $6 million since 2010″( McPhate). Those are highly competitive groups and only one and four applicants might make the cut. But what about the students that do not have that kind of money to spend? Well Chris Yager the founder of Where There Be Dragons, where they lead international groups say that students are lead more by mission rather than profit and many of the programs that he runs do offer financial assistance. He also stated, that ” people who are doing the gap-year programming, right now at least, they’re all really principled people” (qtd in McPhate) There are the people that want an adventure and discover something new and then there are some that have a influential and experiential drive. For example, Robert Clagett, the director of college counseling at St. Stephen’s Episcopal School in Austin, Texas, he recalled a girl who had gone on a gap-year for the first part of her year at a monastery in North Dakota tending for llamas. The second part of her year working for a judge in Oklahoma City and the last third she spent volunteering at an Dominican Republic Orphanage. Mr. Clagett says that “it’s not unusual for students to spend maybe half of their gap year with a job” (qtd in McPhate). Jobs, Adventure whatever it may be no student has ever regretted taking a gap-year and more colleges are offering gap-year programs. The colleges that are providing aid for gap-years includes “Princeton, Tufts, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill and Elon University. As well as Florida State University is one of the latest to start offering scholarships for gap-year students. According to Mr. Clagett he has said “I have yet to work with a student who has regretted taking a gap year” (qtd in McPhate) In a letter to the New York Times a Princeton student wrote that it was “the best decision of my life” (qtd in McPhate). Just remember the experience and memories may be worth the money and skipping a year of college to see something new. Explore and discover everything that is possible before being locked down to books and homework for the rest of the years to come. Take a break from those stressful days of worrying about homework. Enjoy life.

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