A smarter time to go on a gap year would be between high school and further education. In fact, taking a gap year before going to college or university has been a popular thing to do for a while now. This is something that is done quite a lot in the United Kingdom, but according to Quartz, some people living in the United States have been doing it as well. The publication mentions that Malia Obama decided to go to Harvard a year later than her proposed start date so she could "take a gap year."


It's definitely tempting to want to wave school goodbye for a whole year and get the chance to travel or even work in another city or country. Research would even show that it's a good idea: you can save some cash, see another part of the world, and you won't feel the intense pressure of going from high school to college/university.

There are many reasons why going right to school is still a smart choice. But here's why right after graduation might not be the best time to take a gap year. Go before college/ university instead.

Not Everyone Can Afford To Travel For A Year Right Then

It sounds pretty great to be able to travel for a year, getting the chance to visit several cities in Europe or the destination that you're dreaming of and putting on your list. And it would definitely be nice to have enough saved from summer jobs to be able to finance it yourself.

But unless you come from a wealthy background or your family has agreed to give you the funds for your gap year, chances are that not everyone can afford to travel for a year right after graduating from high school. According to Year Out Group, "For financial reasons, 22% of students feel they cannot commit to taking a year out and only 10% of students fully funded their own gap year."

It seems like a better idea to go to school, work during the summers and save as much as you can, and focus on learning, having the true college experience, and figuring out what you want to do after. Not taking a gap year doesn't mean that you'll never get the chance to travel. There will always be lots of time to put your wanderlust to use.

You Can Still Travel While Going To School Right Away

Another reason why a gap year might not be the best thing to take after graduation is that it might not even be necessary. You can still travel while going to school right away by taking a year, semester, or summer abroad. This is a cool way to get the best of both worlds: being able to see another place while still working toward your degree. And it looks really good on a resume as well as it's something that sets you apart when applying for jobs and interviewing for them.

Many schools have really great programs. For example, Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada has a really unique program where students go to England for their first year. This takes place at The Bader International Study Centre in Herstmonceux Castle. You'll go to Queen's for your other three years.

A summer abroad is also a magical way to get college credit while experiencing another culture. Boston University has an "Argentina Cultural Studies Program" where students take two courses and an internship and study at the University de Palermo in Buenos Aires.  Instead of taking a gap year, waiting to take a summer abroad is also a really nice thing to look forward to.

You Might Lose Some Motivation

The final reason why taking a gap year right after graduation might not be the best idea? You might lose some motivation, and it might be something that you end up regretting.

Rasmussen.edu put it best: "The danger of a gap year is that it could turn into gap years. Some students who have every intention of returning to college can get sidetracked by jobs they didn’t really want or months of consuming Netflix."

When getting a college education is your goal, a gap year might not be your best bet toward achieving that. If you fall in love with travel and want to keep doing that and keep putting off going back to school, then it might seem like it's never the right time to go to college or university.

While it might seem like taking a gap year before going to college is an awesome idea, it might not work for everyone, and there are many reasons why going to college/university right away is still a smart choice. From keeping up your motivation and inspiration to get your education to exploring other options such as a year or summer abroad, you can still go to school and get some fun trips in, too.

Sources: Yearoutgroup.com, Qz.com, Rasmussen.edu, Queensu.ca, Bu.edu