Mind the Gap!: 11 Amazing Ways to Spend a Year Off Before College (page 2)

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Updated on Sep 23, 2010

So there you have it. A place to begin when your child says she doesn’t want to go to college…yet.  You’re thrown for a loop. We understand. Just remember that most students who drop off of the education conveyer belt end up on campus eventually. Take Erin Sullivan, who funded her own gap year, after working eighty-hour weeks for three months at a local restaurant. “My gap year prepared me for college more than high school ever could have. I’m here because I want to be, not because it’s what I felt like I was ‘supposed to do,” she says. “I have a better idea of who I am and what I want to achieve than most of my peers.” If Sullivan’s parents worried she was destined for a life of slacker-dom, they’re breathing easy now. In her first semester she managed to work a part-time job, row six days a week for the crew team, start a community service-based club, and maintain a 4.0 GPA. “I don’t think I could have achieved a semester like that if my life were not as in perspective as it is now,” she says, “Taking time off was the best decision I ever made for myself.”  That’s why several top universities, Harvard included, encourage students to take time off before they settle in for freshman year. Students who explore the world a bit before entering college tend to be more focused and mature. And while many of their classmates come to campus ready to party, they come ready to learn. Watch Danielle Wood on The Today Show discussing the Gap Year with Matt Lauer:

For pros and cons of the gap year decision, check out: Should Your Child Take a Gap Year? For more information, go to: Gap Year: Taking Time Off Before College The Goods on the Gap Year

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