Taking a Gap Year: Is It Right for You?
The unknowns during your high school and college years can be full of questions and wondering what is next. Maybe you didn’t get into your dream school. Maybe you’re two years into your degree program and looking to take a year off school. Perhaps you’ve just graduated from college and don’t know what career path you want to take, despite spending four years working towards a degree in a particular field. Whatever the case, considering a gap year program might be an excellent option for you!
What is a gap year?
What is a gap year? A gap year is simply a year taken (often between high school graduation and the start of college) to work, travel, learn, etc. A gap year program is specifically designed to help facilitate that year through skills classes, internships, travel, and other growth opportunities to allow those in the program to prepare better for the next phase of their life. The best part? The program enables those in the gap year to live and learn alongside their peers in similar life stages!
Gap years have been on the rise recently, as many students don’t feel pressured to start college directly after high school. A 2015 survey conducted by Nina Hoe, PhD, alongside the Institute for Survey Research, Temple University, and the GYA Research Committee looked at the reasons that students took a gap year - and the outcomes of that gap year. Upon completing the gap year program, 98% of respondents reported that their gap year “helped them grow as a person.” 97% of respondents also said they had matured since starting their gap year. Other highlighted and reported benefits were growth in communication skills, self-confidence, and many more (https://www.gapyearassociation.org/data-benefits/).
Personal Growth During a Gap Year
Not only do gap year programs provide students with these skills and the opportunity to grow in their personal and professional skills - but they also get the chance to grow in their faith if they take the route of a Christian-based gap year program such as the Kineo Institute. Our young adult years are critical in shaping who we are and who we will ultimately become. What better way to spend the “in-between” seasons than to grow in our faith alongside a group of other young adults in the same boat? A gap year based on the truth and foundation of Christ and Biblical-based teaching could change your life forever!
At the Kineo Institute, those enrolled in the gap year are challenged to grow in their faith in Christ. They are also mentored and taught foundational truths that can and will guide them throughout their life. What a great way to prepare for the next phase of life- spending a season building a firm foundation on Christ and His truths in community.
Along with spiritual growth, students can grow in their skills which will help them in their future careers. Our program is unique in that each month, students get to try out working in one of our 9 departments. Say you want to work with technology or sound systems? You’ll spend a month learning from our AV-IT team at camp. Want to learn how to operate and manage a fast-paced work environment? (Great on resumes!) You get to work in the kitchen serving 300 people meals quickly and learn skills that will bless you in your lifetime inside or out of the kitchen! Each opportunity the departments offer is unique and an excellent opportunity to learn what you want to do for your career and learn from those currently doing just that! Even better, the internship portion of the Kineo Institute allows participants to pay off their entire tuition for the program (which includes room and board)!
At the end of the gap year program, students will come away with new skills, certifications, a built-up resume from their camp internships, the opportunity to have traveled on a mission trip, lifelong friends, a better understanding of what they want to do in the future, and most importantly - a passion for following Jesus and serving Him.
"To equip God's people for works of service, so the body of Christ may be built up." - Ephesians 4:12
Whether you choose to do a gap year program with us through the Kineo Institute, pursue a different program, or ditch the gap year completely - we hope you have a new and better understanding of what a gap year is and how it helps those who participate in one!