Rising College Freshman Taking a Gap Year: Is it Worth it?

kinsey clements, Staff Writer

The outbreak of COVID-19 has had a large, mostly negative, impact on many lives in all age groups. Whether that be losing a job, working in unsafe conditions, or simultaneously working and taking care of a family. Students’ lives have drastically been affected, especially the high school class of 2020 as they have been essentially robbed of prom, graduation, and many more senior year memories.

April and May are the months that highschool seniors get excited about the college they’re planning on attending, but that all changed when COVID-19 became a bigger problem than anyone ever thought. Education and work moving online, social distancing, and the implementation of many more precautions have impacted how colleges might start the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year. Due to the fact that college is such a large place with many people close in proximity- either in classes or hanging out- being able to social distance would be difficult. This is why most colleges in the country have moved classes online for these last months in the year and why they’re considering doing the same for the upcoming fall semester.

However, many incoming college students are questioning why they should be paying upwards of 50k a year to attend classes from their room. This is a very valid point for families who can not afford this and why some students are considering taking a gap year for the 2020-2021 year. This would allow students to save their money for a true “college experience” and take a year to make sure they’re safe and healthy. It is too early to tell whether the majority of students will take this step as college season doesn’t start for another couple months but, if COVID-19 continues to escalate it could become a trend. Furthermore, no colleges have officially announced moving online for the upcoming fall semester but there is speculation that universities are preparing in case they have to take this step.