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What does Gap year mean for adolescent teenagers?

gap year course online

When done in continuity, academic life has its own merits. In our social standing, this is what we are programmed to do. For instance, an egg blossoms into a butterfly. Does it make any sense to take a gap in this pre-programmed life? Are we Indians ready for the concept of Gap Year?

Let us examine an individual’s life in its stages. Human life has become a continuous treadmill, with education, career, and family stages. However, a gap year is a breather year; one spent taking time off between these stages.

Interestingly, its popularity is gaining momentum as it provides time for traveling, volunteering, learning a new language, or experiencing other activities for personal growth. Mostly, students take a gap year after high school and before attending tertiary education.

For example, which one of the following agendas sounds ideal to you?
Agenda 1: School (K1-K12). College. Job.
Or,
Agenda 2: School. 1-year break. College. Job. OR School. College. 1-year break. Job.
It is pretty interesting for most teenagers to be excited about college after school. However, it may not be as enticing to some as another academic life’s monotony and cumbersome intricacies.

To strike a balance, some students across America have found a way out. They are choosing to defer their academic plans to trade for a gap year experience.

Well, it doesn’t end here. To most who trade for it, it acts as a pause between two phases of education and helps them find out exactly what they want next. It can also help them explore career options, learn a new skill or take up a socially responsible project, eventually benefiting them in many other ways.
So, Gap Year is a break year!
Yes, why not?

Also ReadExperiential Learning 

Is the Gap Year turning into a breakthrough year?

The answer is mostly “Yes!” While there are many thrilling reasons to take a gap year, one of the most crucial common is the opportunity for students to explore their interests and develop a purpose in life. To examine their questions about their life. For their future. It is, therefore, being one pre-pondered by many; and is turning out likewise exhilarating; students can take a break from intense coursework and focus on enriching life experiences. 

 

Let us examine how, in the case below.

Shweta spent a year travelling, and it was not just about exploring the geographic locations. She learned to be on her own, plan her journey, and negotiate deals. Also, she used hacks in the travelling industry and lots more. Initially, she had no plan to continue her studies or break. Of course, over-exhausted with the cumbersome school curriculum. After her globe-trotting, she felt instilled with exceptional energy and enthusiasm with fire for going back to higher education in business management. She felt overwhelmed by her return to the academic world and knew much more about finance and budgeting. Her trajectory changed as her focus, direction, and drive changed.

 

According to David Hawkins (of USA), director of public policy and research at the National Association for College Admission Counseling, “taking a gap year gives graduates an invaluable life experience. In the outcome, participants may be more focused, mature, and motivated for their undergraduate experience.”

Why does the school curriculum need to "have a gap year"?

There could be three reasons for it.

  • First and foremost, the existing curriculum has become quite exhaustive in the past two decades in the same time frame of K-12 years.

  • The second reason is, for its benefits and the enrichment, so much so that it’s been ruminated seriously by parents, teachers, and students.

  • Thirdly, many gap year takers ritually “pass the vibe”. They perpetuate their holistic experiential learning, which the gap year brings, while allowing them to be helpful to others. 

Benefits of getting a Gap Year Course

Well, if you take our word, they are uncountable!

But to make it easy, we count to three. For students choosing to spend the year volunteering abroad, some of the benefits include:

  • Enlightening cultural exchange between the student and inhabitants of the host country. 
  • Dealing with problems that make a real difference in the lives of the demographics in the developing countries
  • Make an impact positively on the environment.

What "to-do lists" do students have in Gap Year?

It is an unbelievable and unpredictable life experience to be planned as there are no rules for taking a gap year. In consequence, the possibilities are amazingly endless. For prompt help, fortunately, some organizations have sprung up to help students organize their adventures. 

India has a negative mindset towards gap years.

Despite the unquantifiable reasons for a gap year and its unquantifiable benefits, Indian students are discouraged from taking any gaps between their life stages. They disagree to such an extent that top colleges and universities question it! Best companies question the holes with a squeamish disgrace and are reluctant to hire such people. (As if it were not legit). Why? What makes this concept of gap year so offensive towards education or job roles?

 

On the other hand, the mechanization of board exams, or any university exam, has virtually become a degree mill (or a diploma mill) in which students rote memorize, not use any information or learning. Many subjects are irrelevant even for their lifetime.

 

But, “why?” Why has the system been running in autopilot mode? Why has never been such an outdated system challenged? Why is the status quo still prevalent despite heavier academics leading to deteriorating mental health and unprecedented high student suicide? Why? Why? Why?

 

Well, we believe that the system is in dire need of overhauling. It is time to get out of the treadmill, the seamless relay race. For the benefit of the student’s future, it is required that education be customized (as most rote learning is non-essential). Identifying and personalizing education is needed (impractical due to high resource requirements). These are just suggestions, most workable in first-world countries (e.g., Japan) wherein every human being is treated as an invaluable resource.

 

However, we believe the Indian Education system can enable “Gap Year” or “Gap Retreat” Or retreats. Make Gap Years Legal. To continue to explore the actual calling of every individual entering the job market so they make their dreamt life goals more tangible and manifest a good trajectory for their careers. Therefore, no colleges should discourage it. Likewise, no companies should!

 

If that happens, higher educational institutions need to widen the scope to accommodate students who take gap years. Or, instead encourage gap years to fall back to learning mode, to pursue educational degrees of their choice of subjects as we pick food on a menu. Their calling will enforce discipline and focus, two quintessential qualities to sharpen the saw for a perfectly sculpted career.

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