How to Prepare for College After a Gap Year


All the way through high school the only thing you could think of was that last day of your senior year when you could finally take a break from academics. It’s not that you didn’t like school or even that you weren’t looking forward to college at some point, just not now. You wanted time to see some of the world and to experience life a little before committing yourself to another four to eight years of education.

However, now that you’ve had your gap year, and if you are honest, it has been closer to two years, you don’t feel quite ready to hit the books. There’s so much you need to do before walking on campus in the fall. What can you do to prepare yourself for life again as a student?

Realize You Are Not Alone

There may have been a time in the past when students were expected to immediately enter the college of their choice the following fall semester after graduation. While many families still observe this ‘tradition,’ more and more students are taking at least one year off between high school and university. Sometimes it’s for financial reasons and other times it’s to take a much-needed break. In any case, the one thing you can do is realize that statistics show that anywhere from 3 to 16 percent of students take a gap year before going to college.

Brush Up on Prerequisites

There is a reason why every college has a core set of prerequisites required prior to registering for college level classes. Among the most common classes in which students must demonstrate a certain level of proficiency would be English and Mathematics. If you feel, for example, that your writing skills may have suffered during your time away from academia, you can always take online English classes that qualify as prerequisites and may also be accepted as college credit. 

These courses are only four to eight weeks in duration and have been accepted by more than 2,000 universities. Brushing up on English will probably be most appreciated once you discover that literally every class in every discipline will expect you to write at least one major essay per semester. In other words, you don’t have to wait another whole semester before registering for college because the courses you need a bit of remedial help with are probably offered online and accepted by the college of your choice.

Take It Slowly If Necessary

Not only have you just taken at least a year away from school, but you may also have difficulties coming up with tuition for a full load that has risen over 169% within the past four decades. You may need to work at least part time and that’s okay as well. Also, you don’t need to feel pressured into taking more than a few classes your first semester back. Take it slowly until you find your flow again. There was a reason you took that break after high school and if you put too much pressure on yourself, you just might throw in the towel for yet another extended break.   

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