Gap Year? Go For It!

You’re waiting to hear back from the college or university of your choice. Your mind is stuck playing the same track:

College just is not for me, and the rejections I’ll get are proof.

Here’s the truth: There are lots of things that you’ll never know if you are not accepted. To transition into any next step, be it work, a Gap Year program, a post-graduate year, or another round of college apps, you will need to listen to your honest, compassionate and practical self. Read through this Q & A:

  1. Did you have a capable adult or very skilled peer review your application before you hit the send button? Writers need editors. Even small mistakes may have marred your application. Remember, the receiving school does not know you. Your Gap Year application will need this level of care, too.
  2. Did you apply to reasonable choices based on your student profile? Sometimes schools are popular but not a good fit. If you get into a place that is not your dream school, you could consider going there for a year, doing an epic job, and transferring. Instead, consider the growth that a Gap Year can provide. (For more about a Growth Year, look here.)
  3. How many other people with a profile similar to yours have applied? Popular schools can have their pick of candidates. If you have your heart set on a particular college or university, you can reapply. Use what you learn about featured students on their website and through conversations with their admissions reps to intentionally guide your Gap Year experience.
  4. Were you able to effectively explain any potential concerns such as low grades, lack of extracurricular activities, or disciplinary issues? Remember that in most cases you will be living at your new college or university, so academic performance is not enough to convince them that you will add value to their community. Your Gap Year plan, whether for work, travel or some combination, will require your honest self-evaluation and realistic optimism. (Learn about realistic optimism here.)
  5. Did you keep in touch with the college or university through email, and show your gratitude by thanking every person you spoke to, and if you toured in person, did you send a snail mail thanks? The personal touch matters, not just when you apply, but for your whole life. Start now.


It can feel devastating to believe that you don’t measure up to other people’s standards, especially ones that you have been working toward for most of your academic life.   However, many successful people did not take a traditional route on their way to the top. Still trying the same old things and expecting something different? Try something new. A Gap Year could be for you! Connect to find out more.



About the author

Sherri Fisher, MEd, MAPP, executive coach and learning specialist, uncovers client motivation and focus for perseverance. She has decades of successful experience working with students, parents, and professionals who face learning, attention, and executive function challenges at school, home, and work.

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