Benefits of a Gap Year: Remembering Not to Rush to the Next Step

Graduating from high school is a momentous occasion in most young adults’ lives. It marks a transition from childhood into adulthood, and while it can be exciting, it can also be intimidating. How can an 18 year old be expected to know what they want to do for the rest of their lives? While they may have interests and hobbies, what many young people can really benefit from before making this big life decision, is some life experience. This is why a gap year can be beneficial. 

What is a Gap Year?

A gap year is a year spent taking time off between life stages. It provides time for traveling, volunteering, learning a new language, or experiencing any number of other activities for personal growth. The concept of a gap year is becoming more popular with young people as they graduate from high school and wonder what comes next. 

Why Take a Gap Year?

While there are many reasons to take a gap year, one of the most common is the opportunity for students to explore their interests and develop a purpose for their future. Students can take a break from intense coursework and focus on enriching life experiences. Whether they spend the year traveling, volunteering, working, or all three, students who have completed a gap year are often revitalized for their return to the academic world the following year.

A 2015 survey found that students who took a gap year have shown a “clear pattern” of attaining higher GPAs than those that didn’t take gap years, even controlling for the student’s performance in high school. Aside from grades, a gap year gives young adults the opportunity to figure out what they’re passionate about. Before the pressure of entering college and choosing their path in life, a gap year allows them to experience life. With that life experience, come opportunities to learn more about themselves. Maybe they’ve always dreamed of being a doctor, but after spending time volunteering at local animal shelter, they realize that they would rather be practicing medicine with animals. 

Young adults who want to experience a gap year, but would also like some extra structure and support may benefit from attending a wilderness therapy program. Combining the learning experience of adventure therapy with volunteering opportunities while also working with a clinician helps young adults develop the confidence, motivation, and communication skills to identify and pursue their goals, dreams, and passions.

blueFire puLsaR Can Help

At blueFire PulsaR, clients have the chance to gain a better sense of themselves as individuals and begin forming goals with the guidance of therapeutic professionals. Through exciting adventure-based activities like mountaineering and bouldering, clients step outside of their comfort zone and build translatable skills such as leadership, teamwork, and accountability. As clients take part in wilderness programming, we are able to assess their needs and begin to form a plan for transitioning away from past negative behaviors.   Our transition planning helps identify key points as your child heads home and uses the wilderness to gain the confidence needed to no longer make the same mistakes.

We utilize wilderness therapy in coordination with a strong therapeutic component and family involvement to help young adults launch themselves into a brighter, more successful future. For more information please call (866) 430-6807.

Previous reading
Stop the Stigma: Accepting Mental Health Struggles
Next reading
Adventure Therapy: The Push Some Students Need