Critical Thinking

In written in favour of the gap year

In
this modern society gap year is a widely known and prevalent concept. Moving
out of home, and setting out to dicover oneself promises world of adventures, chances
and dire changes in ones usual way of living. Already existing research
done on gap year shows a great number of perks of taking a year off between finishing
school and before the enrollment into university. In his book “Gap
Year: How Delaying College Changes People in Ways the World Needs” Joe O’Shea mentions that
through several surveys researchers discovered that students who took a “year
off” entered college on equal rates with those who commenced their studies
right after finishing school. In addition, he points out that the year actually
improved their academic performance in college, especially of those who
graduated school with lower average grades. (Birch and Miller 2007; Crawford
and Cribb 2012). Throughout the last ten years the increased number of students
taking a gap year brought a mass attention to the topic thus creating a
controversial debate. However, the abundance of analysis and articles written
in favour of the gap year advocate the pros over any cons of the argument. The
additional year brings immense
improvement in psychological development of young adults by boosting their
self-confidence and enhancing personal and social growth.
  

Starting a new chapter in
life can be daunting for most people, but for some it seems even more
terrifying. The stress of a unfamiliar school, mostly independent learning style
and for some even a move to a different country after years of hassle of keeping
up with school classes, homework and extracurricular activities might put a lot of
pressure and strain on a juniors body and mind. Gap year provides a much needed
break from academics for students to recharge and work on oneself. The year can
be spent doing sports, hobbies,volunteering or studying a course abroad.This
activities widely influence young adults in a positive matter. For example, in
his study of students living in Europe for a semester, G.Gmelch notes that at
the end most of them acknowledged two main areas of change.The first one is a boost
of self-confidence in unfamiliar environment and situations. One student
mentions an embarassing story that she encountered and overcame  refering to it as a “mental victory”. Another advance
in students’ personalities wasb an increase in adaptability. Without the
comfort of their own home they learned to handle and confront unfamiliar situations
a lot better than previous to their travells. (G.Gmelch,1997).

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Although
a lot of students choose to take that time to gaining work experience ,the
majority of them still prefer traveling as a main purpose of obtaining a year
off. Travelling throughout the world for a year certainly broadens horizons and
possibly changes how a person perceives the world around him or her. Hence why
in Haigler
& Nelson independent study of 280 gap year students they outline main
outcome of a gap year  being: “A better
understanding of other countries, people, cultures, and ways of living”. During
those twelve months students grow exceptionally
personally by gaining life and work experience and are inclined futher  to explore study and career options. Moreover,
U.K. Foreign Secretary, J. Straw  advertised Gap Year reasoning that  it brings more maturity and responsibility
into youngsters. In addition ,society only benefits from travelling as it
actively encourages personal development and confidence. (as cited in Simpson,
2005). People and the experiences encountered during this journey teach lessons
that can not be taught in a classroom.

However,
according to the life span theory of control postponing grogress in transition
brings unfavorable results and poor welfare. As reported by Heckhausen and his co-workers
(e.g., Haase et al., 2008; Heckhausen, Wrosch, & Schulzn, 2010; Heckhausen
& Schulz, 1995)  it is crucial to achieve
a number of goals  before the progression
to another stage which becomes a somewhat developmental deadline. Concentrating
 on aims helps young adults to focus on
success and lower any chance of failure which can be increased by avoiding or
postponing transitions. 

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