Why Taking A Gap Year During COVID-19 Can Benefit Students
COVID-19 has sadly struck a chord with students of all ages across the country. It is common for some students to take a gap year after high school. This decision to sit college out for a year has become more popular during the pandemic. Several high schools and colleges have transitioned to either semi or online-only classes. With this transition in place, many students have found their at-home learning environment to not be suitable for online learning.
A place that facilitates a good learning environment is almost essential for effective learning. College campuses are designed to offer students a safe study place. Students may feel lost without in-person learning this year. At the beginning of this fall, 22% of college students decided not to attend college. Is taking a gap year during the COVID-19 pandemic right for college students? Read on to find out the benefits of pressing pause on college during this unprecedented time.
What Exactly Is A Gap Year?
A gap year involves taking a year-long break between high school and college. However, a gap year can also involve a formal break between colleges or after college before starting a masters program or workplace. Why do students choose to take a gap year? The Gap Year Association and Temple University conducted a 2015 survey which found that students who took a gap year believed the time off allowed them to develop further as an individual. Students also expressed that the break allowed them to develop certain workplace skills to help them become successful in their future careers.
Will A COVID-19 College Break Differ From Previous Pre-Pandemic Gap Years?
It can depend on the student. Most students choose to take a gap year because they are unsure of what program they want to pursue or desire time for self-discovery. The pandemic can give more reasons as to why a student would take a gap year. COVID-19 has affected students in four main ways:
- Struggle with financial issues (50.9%)
- Students who have not been affected at all (41.8%)
- Individuals who have chosen a different path (7.3%)
- Students who said they can no longer afford tuition (56%)
How To Maintain Productivity During COVID-19 Gap Year
Many students choose to travel and explore during their gap year. However, that is not a viable choice for most during the pandemic. Fortunately, there are still a number of various options available for students to stay productive during this 2021 pandemic gap year. When planning your gap year, be proactive and do as much research as you can. Additionally, reach out to college advisors, teachers, family members and mentors for advice. The following tips can also help students have a productive gap year during COVID-19:
- Learn A Valuable Skill or Skills
There are a number of skills you can learn right at home! Some students have felt confined in the home and that they’ve lost their ability to experience new life lessons. Students can learn skills at home for free. These skills will help with their future. Some skills to learn from home include coding, learning new languages, general first aid and photography. There are a number of free online resources that can help individuals learn a new skill at their own pace. Exploring new skills can change a student’s life for the better. New skills also allows them to feel proud of themselves during this challenging time.
2. Search For Remote Job
The education industry is not the only industry that has made the switch to online during this time. Many workplaces have transitioned to remote based work. Working remotely offers flexibility, can reduce stress and costs less. Some remote positions only require their employees to have strong Wi-fi connection, a reliable computer and a quiet work environment. Sites such as Indeed and LinkedIn offer a number of remote position or internship opportunities.
3. Explore Volunteer Opportunities
Some students may not feel comfortable working during this time. Volunteering can also be a proactive way to spend this time. Find volunteering opportunities in your area or even online ways to volunteer. Volunteering not only benefits those in need but is also extremely rewarding. VolunteerMatch offers virtual volunteer opportunities for students to volunteer from anywhere in the world. Students can even select the cause area they want to volunteer for. Cause areas can include arts & culture or health & medicine, which looks great on a resume!
COVID-19 Gap Year Can Help Students Improve
GradePower Learning offers a number of customized online and in-class learning programs for students this school year. Each student is unique and we ensure our programs meet their individual needs. It’s never too late to improve yourself. Students can develop stronger learning skills to improve confidence and achieve future success!