Renewed vigour and focus

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Renewed vigour and focus
According to universities, students who take a gap year often arrive on campus as better leaders.

Gap year provides the maturity to not only handle the rigours of college life but also use the skills to leverage college experience for personal growth and contribution

By Shyamala Elango

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Published: Tue 31 Jan 2017, 2:38 PM

Last updated: Tue 31 Jan 2017, 4:51 PM

A gap year can be a welcome break for many students, but may be frustrating to others. While there are lots of reasons to take a year out, the most common being to travel, to gain work experience or to support the family. Gap years can often seem like a vague concept since you can truly do anything on a gap year. To avoid wasting this incredible opportunity, you should think about including some sort of structure or plan during your time away from school.
If you are hoping that a gap year will better your college options, then be sure to choose your activities carefully so that admission officers regard your time away from school as worthwhile or even unique. For example, getting a job - even a menial one - to help finance college costs or to support family would be interpreted as "worthwhile" by admission officials. A gap year to simply enhance academic performances or testing scores will not be acceptable.
Gap year is permitted and even encouraged for people going into military service to obtain work experience for professional courses, or for people with extenuating family circumstances. Upon receiving your admissions letter, you may request to delay your entry for a year. For countries like the UK, choose the deferred entry option when applying. However, you must satisfy the entry requirements for the course in the final year at high school.
The biggest plus of a gap year is that many students who take time off before college find that the break from academics enables them to return to the classroom the following fall with renewed vigour and focus. Students who took a gap year typically say they entered college feeling more recharged and focused, while universities say those students often arrive on campus as better leaders.

Shyamala Elango is Director, Educational Services at Inner Universe. She can be reached at

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