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The Prospector

The student news site of Manitou Springs High School

The Prospector

The student news site of Manitou Springs High School

The Prospector

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Gap year after graduation?

Upperclassmen+experience+a+massive+amount+of+academic+stress+and+pressure+as+they+approach+their+graduation.
Ari Clark
Upperclassmen experience a massive amount of academic stress and pressure as they approach their graduation.

After high school, most students choose to pursue higher education or join a branch of the military. However, another option is growing in popularity: gap years. A gap year is when a student takes a year off between high school and college. 

More and more students are choosing to travel or work before moving on to the next chapter of their lives, to take a short break from the constant onslaught of academic work they have experiencenced for the majority of their young lives. 

In a recent survey sent out to upperclassmen at Manitou Springs High School, over 26% of MSHS students surveyed said that their gap year would be spent working, saving money to pay for college. Of course, expenses do not end with education; the price of food, housing, utilities and healthcare is only rising. 

Brooklyn Oursler (12) plans to spend her gap year traveling; however, even she has had to factor in the cost of college, “I would travel and spend the rest of my gap year working as well. I would probably have two savings: one for college and one for traveling,”Oursler said. “You have time to make money for college.”

Kate Johnson (12) is planning to go directly into college after finishing her senior year. “I want to go into pre-med, and so I’ll be taking some pretty heavy math and science classes,” Johnson said. “The less gap I have from what I learned in high school to what I’m learning in college the better.” 

While she is against the idea of a gap year for herself, she certainly sees the appeal. “It’s been kind of a struggle with my senior year. I’m feeling already burnt out even though it’s only October,” Johnson said. However, she stands by her decision. “For me, the cons of me taking a year off outweigh the pros.”

Most students are brought up thinking that college is the end-all be-all in their post-high school lives, and a gap year is rarely presented as an option. AJ Jackson (11) plans to follow her gap year by joining the military, despite being unaware of the option until freshman year. “Nobody really told me that a gap year was an option,” Jackson said. 

Others share the same point of view. Both Oursler and Johnson said that the idea of a gap year was never really presented to them. “ I kind of discovered gap years on my own. I haven’t seen the school ever really talk about that. Most of the options schools give are just straight college or the military,” Oursler said. 

So, you may be asking if a gap year is right for you. That is fully dependent on who you are as a person. You must know what you need and how you will react to certain situations before making a decision such as this. It is always important to consider all factors. “A gap year really depends on the student and their lives,” Johnson said.

 

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About the Contributor
Ari Clark, Senior Reporter
Ari Clark is a junior at Manitou Springs High School. They enjoy drawing and playing Dungeons and Dragons with friends when they have time. Along with being a member of the Prospector Staff, they are involved with school theatre productions. Clark loves the arts and plans to study them in some capacity once they graduate. They look forward to contributing to The Prospector for the next two years in as many forms as possible.
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Comments (3)

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  • J

    Julianna WiezorekJan 10, 2024 at 3:18 pm

    The article is beautifully written. As an upperclassmen it’s nice to see where people stand on the matter. I like to see the general consensus of the school. I personally think that a gap year isn’t a bad idea. I myself wont do that because I think I’d have trouble going back to school but it very much does make sense. The price of college these days is outrageous and it does make sense to take a year to actually save up.

    Reply
  • Z

    Zaure YerzhanJan 10, 2024 at 3:15 pm

    I agree with your opinion and relate to the students who have a hard time moving on from high school to college right away. It’s a lot of pressure – and people not talking about this problem enough makes it harder for young students to find time to decide what they actually want to do with their lives. For most people, including me, gap year is a good opportunity to research more about university majors, applications, and preparing for the exams.

    Reply
  • M

    Myhlah WerderNov 9, 2023 at 10:19 am

    I agree with this very much, and I understand this a lot. I’m glad you gave more information about it. Thank you!

    Reply