College Outside: Education Through Experience, Importance of a Gap Year

Photo Courtesy of College Outside.

Over recent years, the gap year trend has seen a steady rise in popularity, as high school or college graduates and burnt out undergrads seek new ways to expand their horizons. For students with school-related doubts, the benefits of taking a break from their education are plentiful. Seeing the world, making new friends, and gaining real life experiences can be just as, if not more, valuable than a year of directionless schooling.

Maybe you’ve always wanted to explore the world, maybe you’re unsure about your path in school or career choice, or maybe you just want to go on an adventure. Whatever your reason or stage in life, taking a gap year might be just the way to achieve your goals.

I can attest that my gap year is the single greatest choice I’ve made in school this far. It completely changed my outlook on life.

Choosing the Gap Year

During my junior year of college, I knew I needed to make a change. But I wasn’t sure what to do. I wasn’t very happy with my major, and I didn’t want to waste money pursuing a degree that didn’t inspire me.

A friend of the family recommended the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS). As I researched the company and the various courses they offered, I knew I had found what I was searching for.

I’ve always had a desire to travel and explore, but I just wasn’t sure how to do it. NOLS gave me the opportunity to take a break from school, figure out what I wanted to do with my life, and fulfill my dream of seeing some of the raddest places in the world. I decided to do the Himalayan mountaineering course because I thought it would be completely different than anything I had ever experienced.

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