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It’s Okay to Take a Break – Reasons to Take a Gap Year

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Jefferson chapter.

“It’s okay to take a break,” was something that was told to me by my graduate program’s faculty after telling them I was considering a gap year after undergrad. I had been going back and forth with it for a while, but ultimately decided that taking that break, and recognizing that I needed one, was paramount to my success. 

If you are thinking about taking a gap year, whether it be between high school and college, or just before you enter a new stage of your academic career, here are some reasons why you should. Hopefully, they resonate with you, as they did with me.

  • Feeling burnt out with schoolwork.
    • As my final semester as an undergraduate is nearing its end, I have constantly been putting off homework, projects, and other deadlines because I just could not find the motivation to do it. I have been lucky this year in that my classes don’t have any in-person tests or anything strenuous, but I know that graduate school is often a big change compared to undergrad. If you can’t see yourself devoting the time and studying for your program just yet, it’s always beneficial to take a step back.
  • There are too many commitments and personal matters going on
    • Going to a university across the other side of the country means that I often have to postpone appointments and reunions to align with our school breaks or summers. I have a lot to attend to this summer, which might go over to August or other months later in the year. I can’t imagine needing to fly back and forth during my off days if I continued my education this fall; it makes more sense to have time to space everything out without other stressors.
  • Getting a taste for “the real world”
    • Taking a gap year doesn’t necessarily mean you sit around and do nothing (although you can if you’d like!) – if there is something that interests you, such as volunteering, learning another language, traveling, starting a new job, or even taking the time to start or perfect a hobby, that’s great! In my opinion, there is so much more to the world than just school.
  • Just take a breather!
    • I am fortunate in that I have already been accepted to my graduate program and deferred to the next academic year, so I can really take my time in enjoying the gap year. Even if you are taking this gap year to apply for higher education or to work on your resume, please remember to take care and be kind to yourself.

With that being said, I am so excited to come back for Fall 2024! Thanks for reading!

Kamille is a fourth-year Psychology major and Communication minor at Thomas Jefferson University. She enjoys reading, creative writing, and experimenting in the kitchen.