Op-Ed: Taking a Gap Year Builds Resilience

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An academic in Australia has one major piece of advice for students before they head to university: Take a gap year.

“School might have prepared students intellectually for a tertiary education, but there is lots school can’t prepare you for — and that’s how to deal with real people in the real world,” Jenna Price, who works at the University of Technology in Sydney, wrote in The Sydney Morning-Herald.

Though a gap year alone won’t turn a C-student into an A-student, she said there is a significant difference in the overall performance of students who’ve taken a break from formal education.

“I can always tell the students who’ve had a gap year. They don’t burst into tears over marks. They don’t get cranky when you critique their work,” Price wrote.

“They have a resilience born from working at the checkout in the local supermarket where customers may behave deplorably and, if they have the economic advantage necessary to travel, they also have the resilience born from dealing with the travel disasters that happen when Mum and Dad can’t rescue you anymore.”

Read Price’s full column and check out NACAC’s resources on taking a gap year.

Ashley Dobson is NACAC’s communications manager for content and social media. You can reach her at adobson@nacacnet.org.

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