It’s almost always at least a fleeting thought for high school seniors: should I go right to college or take a year off? Perhaps this “gap year” would be used to earn money for college or to travel the world or to “find yourself”. Whatever the reason, there’s no one right answer for every student. To help make the decision over delaying college for a year, here are some things you (and your family and trusted counselors) might want to consider, courtesy of University Loft Company, makers of cool furniture for college residence life:
Are you feeling burned out by your studies?
High School can be a grind. So can college. So can working. So can life. Nonetheless, if the thought of entering college after only a summer break is stressing you out, you might need a break. If you do take a break, have a plan for your time out. Don’t fall into the trap of doing nothing for too long.
Are there personal reasons to delay going to college?
If you have medical, financial or other challenges, perhaps a gap year can help you be on firmer footing for college success. Examine all your options before deciding to sit out a semester or term.
Do you know what you want to study at college?
Sometimes the best way to discover what you want to study in the university setting is by being in that setting and making new friends who are also exploring. Otherwise, you could use a gap year for multiple internships or part-time jobs to help you choose the right educational path.
Do you know where you want to go to college?
A gap year, or portion thereof, could help you investigate and choose the right university. During that time, perhaps you could visit friends on various campuses to get a feel for college life.
What are you looking forward to experiencing at college?
College will be different from what you’ve experienced before, but you will likely have certain expectations going in. If you are reluctant to move on to the next phase of your life as a young adult, perhaps you should take some time to explore and make yourself comfortable with the college experience. On the other hand, if you are excited to discover what college – and life – has to offer, don’t delay. Get on-campus. We’re a little biased, of course, but we think you might particularly enjoy residence life, especially if your dorm room is equipped with University Loft’s solid wood, modular student furniture!
In any event, involve others in your decision making process. Talk with your parents, trusted friends, your counselors and clergy. If you do take a gap year, don’t waste it; use it to help you find direction for the road ahead.
The ULoft Blog Team
About University Loft Company and our solid wood modular residence life furniture:
Since 1984, when James Jannetides built a loft configuration for his own dorm room at Southern Illinois University, hundreds of thousands of college students have enjoyed better campus living thanks to University Loft furniture. Today, University Loft serves more than 1,200 colleges, universities and related student housing partners. As Jannetides’ says: “We are always learning, always innovating, and always improving … our environment, our products, and our service. We are University Loft Company.”