Scott: Senior year is a time most students start getting serious about college right away – college applications go out, conversations about what to study. But a growing number of students are deciding to put that off for a bit. Demetrius Pipkin has the story.
Demetrius: With degree in hand, many high school grads are now wondering what to do next. And a growing number of them from across the U.S. are finding those answers during a gap year.
Samantha Kreig: You know, you think you have to go from high school to college, from college to graduate school or from college right to working. And I think that doesn’t leave a lot of room to figure out who you are and who you want to be.
Holly Bull: All the goal pins are where we have had students over the years.
Demetrius: Holly Bull, president of the Center for Interim Programs, advises students on choosing a gap year experience that will be right for them. She says that taking time off after graduating can be very rewarding. Whether that time is used to do volunteer work, travel, or try out different jobs and internships, a gap year can help you decide what you may, or may not, want to do in the future.
Holly: You can, with a gap year, very systematically pick off areas of interest you have and start to kind of tick them off one by one. Does this appeal to me? Does this? It’s great if you can head off some of that by just kind of sticking your toe in the water of a particular field and see if it appeals to you.
Demetrius: But there are some downsides to taking a gap year. First of all, if and when you do return to school, it can take some time to readjust to being back in the classroom. And many people worry about falling a year behind their friends. And the costs are a big one. After a program consultation fee, tuition and housing, a gap year could end up costing you thousands. But Holly says not to let those costs scare you away.
Holly: You’ve got options that are group programs that you might be paying a fee for, but many of them have scholarships. And then on the other end of the spectrum, you’ve got programs that are going to be more job-like, service-oriented. I mean, helping to rebuild New Orleans or teaching kids about outdoor stuff. These are places that will give you housing and food in exchange for labor.
Demetrius: And for Jasper Morgan, who is hoping to spend parts of his gap year interning in Australia, he says this could be the opportunity of a lifetime.
Jasper Morgan: I’m excited about it. I think it shouldn’t be, you know, too hard. I think I can handle it. And it’s always fun to meet new people and learn different things.
Holly: This is a time in your life when you can take time to explore. It gets so much harder as you get older. Take the time now because later on you are going to be tied in with work and two-week vacations. And giving yourself the time now and not worrying about being behind your peers, but just take on this incredible jewel of a year to go and explore these interests and explore the world.
Demetrius: Demetrius Pipkin, Channel One News.