Is a GAP Year a realistic option?

Senior Cameron Kohl talks to reporter Natalie Lindmark about his unique decision

Natalie Lindmark, reporter

For most students, there aren’t a lot of options after high school. Most are told the same thing: go to college and get your degree. What about those who aspire to do more than just go to college, or those who do not know what they want to do with their lives? A Gap Year could be the right answer for these students.

Taking a Gap Year consists of taking a year off in between senior year of high school and the first year of college to explore further options that could be available for students. Senior Cameron Kohl decided a gap year would be a good option for him. The decision of a gap year came to Kohl when reflecting on his years at school.

“I’ve been to school for 12 years straight and I think it’ll be nice to take a break.” Kohl said.

Kohl also chose to pursue employment during his Gap Year to get a taste of what the real world is like. He noted potential benefits he hoped to enjoy. 

“Gap Years benefit you because you get time to truly figure out what you want to do with your life in the future so when you do go to college,” Kohl said. “It can put you in a better and more prepared situation.”

Kohl also felt his decision of a Gap Year could save him time in the long run.

“Instead of chasing a dream career you had when you were in elementary school [and then figuring out that dream is no longer what you want to pursue] and having two years left of college not knowing what you want to do next.” Kohl said. “Taking time to plan out your future instead of going straight to college proves to be beneficial.”

While maturity and employment have benefits, taking a Gap Year for mental health reasons, career opportunities that don’t involve a degree, military jobs or traveling abroad are all possibilities. Taking a Gap Year can come down to taking a year to find oneself. There are so many other options to go out of the box.

For many, the thought of a Gap Year can be more intimidating and scarier than the thought of college.

“Personally, I would tell them to take a Gap Year. A big percentage of college graduates don’t wind up in the field they want and only end up with a slightly above minimum wage job.” Kohl said. “Find something you have particular interest in and make sure it is what you really want to do and chase it so then you have 4+ years of college to follow it.”