The point of education is to teach children to learn and grow into the productive adults of their society. Education takes up the majority of a human being’s early life. The first four years of one’s life is free but after that it can feel like a never-ending imprisonment! In Canada, from the age of four to fourteen years old, ten years of one’s life is experienced in primary school. The next four years after that being in secondary school.
That is fourteen years, approximately one hundred and fifty-four months of child’s life attending school and receiving an education. So the big question is, should students take a gap year before attending post-secondary or should they go straight into a college or university program? The traditional route was to finish High School and move directly on to secondary education with an aim to achieve a certificate or degree leading to gainful employment and the “rest of your life”. A variation from this was considered less desirable. There is still a lot of debate over whether taking a year off is an advantage or disadvantage but the general view has become more open to the idea of taking a year away from studies between high school and further education.
Many students graduate from high school without a really clear idea of career goals. Four years of secondary school certainly may not have offered a student sufficient exposure for them to make a truly informed decision on this. Although there is financial aid available for post secondary education, the financial commitment can be difficult. So, when it comes down to money, stress and career choosing, a gap year can be very beneficial to many students before taking the next step in their life.
“Between school or college and university is a good time to take time out, whether it’s to earn some money for your studies, get work experience, travel the world or volunteer.” (Bright Knowledge 2003-2018)Students are still very young when they finish high school and heading to post-secondary education can be a stressful time, leaving home, meeting new people, planning for a future career and most of all, the expenses that occur when planning a post-secondary experience. Tuition fees can add up and put one under a lot of stress caused from debt that can last for years. College tuition fees can be anywhere from $3,668 to $20,188 for two semesters and, depending on the program, university tuitions can cost anywhere from $8,545 per year. Tuition fees alone are expensive but on top of tuition, there are extra fees one will have to pay for such as accommodation, supplies, books, extra material, food and travel costs.
Extra costs can add up very quickly and can leave one spending around $6,500 or more per semester on top of tuition. All the fees included with post-secondary could leave one under much pressure. Having the year off can allow a student to work at a job or jobs to save up and to create a payment plan for their future. Money isn’t the only thing that one will receive from a job.
It will also teach one some new life experiences and responsibilities. Taking a “gap year can provide students the chance to learn responsibility on a different level. Whether you’re planning a trip around the world or working as a store manager you are going to be fending for yourself as an adult for the first time.” (Education Consultants 2018) Not only will a year off help one to earn some money and be better prepared for coming expenses, it will also teach them some responsibilities of being an adult. Fourteen years of one’s life is a lot of time. After fourteen years of going through primary and secondary school, to think of going straight into another three to six years of education is an overwhelming thought. Post-secondary may seem like a way to grow and be more adventurous but in the end it is a lot harder than most people expect.
The workload is heavier, assignments, tests and exams are weighted more putting pressure on the receiving grade. This puts a great deal of stress on students. The idea of taking a year off gives a student “an opportunity to regroup”. Secondary school can be a very stressful time for students.
Between preparing for university academically and searching for the right post-secondary institution(s) (PSIs), many students feel exhausted by the time they graduate. Changing course and doing something besides school for awhile can be a much-needed break psychologically.” (Education Consultants 2018) Taking a break with a change of pace may help to focus plans or broaden horizons which can give reassurance and confidence to a student moving on to the next step of their education. Choosing a course to take in post secondary can involve some difficult choices. The program chosen is going to help one achieve their future career goals.
College and university courses can be very expensive so it is a good idea to make sure you are certain about what program is being chosen because it is a considerable financial commitment with the risk of financial loss if the program is not the right choice for the student. A gap year will help students to confirm what type of program they would like enter that will help them to pursue a future career. Applying for college and universities is a stressful time. Post-secondary school look mainly at the students grade 12 marks, grade 11 marks are mainly looked at for early acceptance or for the school to conduct a tiebreaker. Sometimes life gets in the way of a students education, whether it being health, family related or something else, a student may not receive the grade that they are required to have for the post-secondary program they want to take.