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I am taking a gap year (year off after high school.) Although not that common in US, it is common in NZ, UK, and Australia. I have read somewhere that some universities don't mind students taking a year off to not be a couch potato but to really gain a worldly perspective and discover what they want to do.
I took a gap year for two reasons: I skipped two grades, so I was 16 when I graduated. I had a fairly good idea about my intended major, but I wasn't decided on where to go for tertiary education. So I decided to take a gap year to consider different choices.
I also took it to travel and take a summer school at Harvard. I went to China for an international science competition, then travelled afterwards. Harvard Summer School was really an epiphany: i found the urge to try out for US colleges.
So what do you guys think? Will this gap year disadvantage me?