March 18, 2024

What to Know About Taking a Gap Year


Typically, students who want to attend university go straight after high school. However, there is an alternative option: taking a gap year first. This became more common during the pandemic and has remained popular. To figure out if a gap year could be a good option for you, there are a few things to know.

How to Use a Gap Year

What you do during your gap year is up to you. Some common options are to travel, volunteer (some volunteer programs may give you the chance to earn university credit in a unique way), or work — to earn money to pay for your education and have more to spend during university or to explore a field before committing to a major. Some students want to take a break from academics for mental health reasons, learn more about themselves, gain skills, or make a difference in the world.

What Are Good Reasons for Taking a Gap Year?

There are many good reasons for taking a gap year, including because you want to earn money, travel, or have a break from schoolwork. A gap year should benefit you in some way, whether that’s through increasing your confidence, developing your skills, or giving you the chance to pursue a passion unrelated to your future career. However, taking a gap year because you’re intimidated by the idea of going to university and want to put it off for longer is not a great reason.

How Will a Gap Year Affect Your University Admission?

No matter whether you’re just considering a gap or you know for sure you’ll take one, you should go through the normal university application process. This will mean you’ll be able to take advantage of high school counselors, teachers, and other resources. You should not mention on your application that you’ll be taking a gap year because that could hurt your chances of being accepted. Only once you receive an offer and are certain that you will be taking a year off should you talk to the admissions officer at your university.

Universities rarely deny students their requests for a gap year. However, they often want more information about what the students will be doing. You may need to provide paperwork showing what program you’ll be participating in, the job offer you received, or your travel plans. Another requirement could be to check in halfway through your gap year to confirm you’ll still be attending in the fall. Some universities may not allow you to take classes for credit elsewhere during your gap year because that would make you a transfer student.

One more benefit of a gap year is you’ll have more time to search for great housing to avoid needing to live in a student residence. For apartments near Carleton University, look no further than the Revalie. In addition to your comfortable suite — fully-furnished in a modern design — you’ll have access to great community amenities, including study areas, a fitness center, and areas for film and audio recording. Take a virtual tour to see all the facilities.

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