Learn and grow with a gap-year

Have you ever considered taking a gap-year after time at Hope College? Perhaps a little panicked when deciding what to do next? Many graduates are finding that a gap-year gives young adults the freedom to spread their wings and take a step back before deciding what to do next.

Hope’s Career Development Center is hosting the Gap-Year and Nonprofit fair on Oct. 26, in the Maas Auditorium from 11 a.m to 1:30 p.m. There, students can explore options with- in the nonprofit sector as well as many exciting and purposeful gap-year options.

A gap-year is a perfect opportunity for those who do not know what they want to do. Some students are lucky and know exactly where they are headed but this is not true of everyone.

Each student proves different, and while others take a little longer in the decision-making process, ultimately The American Gap Association (AGA) re- ports it does not reflect on the type of career or the attainment of job satisfaction that either group will achieve as they move forward in their future career.

Although there have been few empirical studies undertaken to examine gap-year experiences for American students, in general it is believed that taking a gap-year is a valuable endeavor. U.K. Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw, who has publicly promoted gap-year practices, argued that, “Taking a Gap Year is a great opportunity for young people to broaden their horizons, making them more mature and responsible citizens. Our society can only benefit from travel which promotes character, confidence and deci- sion-making skills.”

The AGA gave evidence to the value of a gap-year.

Ninety percent of students who took a gap-year returned to college within a year.

AGA also showed that in the United Kingdom and in the United States, students who had taken a gap-year were more likely to graduate with higher grade point averages than observationally identical individuals who went straight to college.

Taking on new experiences and meeting new people can both enlighten and give students time to reflect on their own personal strength, interests and skills.

Focusing on these in yourself can lead to your first full-time job or pave a way toward graduate school.

There are many ways to spend a gap-year such as traveling, volunteering or finding an internship. Check out more options with Hope’s career ad- visors.

To see an up to date listing of all participating companies and organizations head to your student Handshake account. Come out and learn about all your opportunities.

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