Taking A Gap Year                                            by Joyce Salter

     The infamous Gap Year –it worked for Prince William and Prince Harry, but will it work for me?  That’s a question best answered by your circumstances.  Let’s say you didn’t get into any of your top schools – after all, 2011 has been the hardest year ever for admissions – and you want to up your “irresistibility factor” so that you can apply again next year.  Now is the time to make that year count – which in no way resembles “taking a breather on the couch.”

       It may be a time to consider deeply what you really want from college, or dare we say it, life?  Since college is a huge investment of both time and money, sometimes a year off is just what is needed to put your education goals in perspective.  Your extra year of maturity and self-reflection will serve you well when you become a freshman the following year.

     The Gap Year is your perfect opportunity to find a career-related job, internship or volunteer work.  It’s your chance to study up to re-take your SAT or GRE test, while you supplement your extra credit by taking related classes at your city college.  If you’re creative, it’s a golden window for writing that play or novel, expanding your art portfolio, or practicing for that cello audition.  Look upon the year as a chance to enhance your potential and increase your self-confidence.  When application season rolls around again, you’ll be ready to meet it head-on.  –JS