Thinking About Taking A Gap Year?

March 7th, 2017 Posted by post secondary education, student assistance No Comment yet

It’s already March. Where did February go?

For many grade 12 students, the applications to Universities, Colleges and other continuing education options are completed – with a big sigh of relief! It’s a time consuming and nerve wracking process – did I complete all of the necessary information correctly, when will I hear back from the institutions and what will be the outcome? It becomes the topic of conversation and focus at school and at home. Some youth find the decision making overwhelming, they just aren’t ready to commit time and money to uncertainty and may be lacking in professional guidance. As a Certified Career Counsellor, I have identified/confirmed suitable career paths for many of youth in my practice, but it’s not always a cookie cutter outcome. Let it be stated, I am a huge advocate of continuing education post grade 12 and not only for monetary gains:

… it is crucial to recognize that attending university, and being exposed to all the experiences there, also creates “transformed individuals,” he said. By the time a student is presented with a degree at convocation, “maybe they did a co-operative internship, maybe they’ve studied abroad, maybe they have fallen in love, maybe they have formed the lasting friendships that form the social cohesion to life.

However, not 1 shoe fits all:

A gap year is an experiential semester or year “on,” typically taken between high school and college in order to deepen practical, professional, and personal awareness.”

I selected this description because of the word ‘on’ – a well planned and orchestrated gap year can:

  • Help define a direction in your education plan through experiential learning, volunteering, paid employment
  • Foster mentorship with someone you respect
  • Develop new and exciting learning outcomes outside of the classroom
  • Create supportive relationships with peers

A common concern of parents is that their son/daughter will decide not to pursue post secondary education, however, “90 percent of students who took a Gap Year returned to college within a year.

The good news is whether you decide to continue your education in September, or take a semester off will not be your final decision – you will have plenty of living and opportunities in your future.

For more information on gap years, here is a sample of sites:


Best Regards to all,


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Hello, I’m Jane, the Founder of Career Crossroads. I thrive on counselling teens and adults to realize their goals, fulfill their dreams and manage their talents through the career exploration process. I live in Surrey, BC with my husband and three sons, who are all pursuing post-secondary education at universities across Canada and beyond.

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