Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? After completing high school, students should take at least a year off to work or travel before they begin studying at a university. Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

Gap year, a break between high school and college, has become a trend among many American and European students theses years. As the popularity of gap year has grown,the idea of gap year has been strongly questioned by some nervous parents. However, from my perspective, taking a year to work or travel before college will be a lifelong treasure which enables one to have the full command of his life. To begin with, a gap year helps guide students’ future education and life goals. Most of young students do not know exactly what they wanted to do once they left high school or even half way through college. Working or traveling a year will give them some “real world experience” as well as insight into their interests and strengths which will help them shape a path to a successful career. Once students learn a whole lot about themselves, they are likely to take full advantage of college. Take an Australian boy for an example. Enjoying his gap year in Nepal, he helps the locals in Pokhara to build their organic farms. He is so passionate about what he is doing now and he decided to pursue environmental science after he comes back to university. The internships and professional experience gained over the gap year will have much more influence on the development of one’s future than college. In addition, taking a year off can refresh the tired-out high school graduates. In general, it will take at least ten years before jumping into the long and challenging years of university. There is no doubt that studious students will spare no effort to improve their academic performance with the expectation that they will receive offers from their dream schools. Under the competitive pressure of high school, they will not only prepare for exams such as SAT or ACT but also seek for voluntary opportunities to enrich their Curriculum Vitae. My younger sister used to travel to Cuba to volunteer with brown bears for three months. After that she went to Europe driving her Vespa across more than 20 cities. She said it was so different from school. She won’t have to attend a test at then end of the trimester, which means that there is no peer pressure or any pressure from outside. At the same time she can reorganize her mind which was full of chemical equations, historical events as well as verses from poems. It is true that students who choose to drop a year are more likely to lose their study skills. During the gap year, there will be less chances for them to participate in actual classes in college. Without attending lectures given by famous professor and communicating face-to-face with classmates, the whole learning process will be incomplete. Many of study skills could not be developed and trained, which leads directly to the deprivation of both academic ability and motivation. However, it won’t be a potential problem nowadays because most of top universities offer MOOC (Massive Open Online Courses). Students can study random topics through free online classes. Although they don’t have any college credit, they learned a lot, met wonderful people, and keep their brains in shape for college. Ultimately, the benefits of gap year far outweigh the only drawback because it can help exhausted students relax both mentally and physically and provide them with the opportunities to take a step back to focus on their goals, leading to a stronger sense of direction once they’re back in the classroom!
Submitted by Javad on
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