Gap Year (right forum?)

<p>Hi! First of all, I’m a second semester senior and I’m super excited for college. I don’t know where I’m going officially, but if all goes as expected I’ll be able to afford a good school that I really love that’s one of my top choices. My plan has always been to go to college, join a sorority, and have the normal, fun college experience. And I still want to do that. However, this year I have missed a lot of school due to stress-related health issues from overworking myself and not getting enough sleep over the past few years. I’m always trying to do everything—the doctor called it “overachiever syndrome”. I expect this will be somewhat better in college, mostly because my high school and my EC’s are well over an hour’s commute so I generally leave home at 6:20 and get home sometimes as late as 11 still having to shower and finish school work. But I’ve been considering taking some time off before college, to not worry about grades and get more than 5 hour’s sleep. I’ve already been admitted to 9/12 schools and the other 3 I don’t hear back from until April, by which point I’ll probably have enrolled at a school. The college I’ll probably go to doesn’t defer admission so I would have to re-apply, but I feel fairly confident I would be admitted again. I wouldn’t slug around and do nothing during my year off of school. My idea was to do a semester program I found that travels to Fiji, Australia and NZ, doing some fun stuff, some volunteering, some learning, and some spiritual rejuvenation-type stuff. It sounds perfect for me. I thought I would do that in the fall, and then plan to go traveling around Europe on my own (sounds scary and probably is! My mom did the same thing right after college and I know times have changed but she has always encouraged me to do it sometime.) for the second “semester”. The South Pacific program gives some college credit also, so I wouldn’t be completely off the college track. I have heard a lot of great things about gap years and at this point it seems like it might be the right thing to do.</p>

<p>On the other hand, I really really want to have that college experience! Living in the dorms, rushing, etc. I know I could still do that after a gap year, but it seems like it would be odd to be a college freshman about to turn 20. I think I would feel out of place being with classmates all a year younger. I’m really conflicted here—I don’t want to be burned out starting college, and a gap year seems like it would be really beneficial to me, but I also don’t want to lose out on the college experience. I have a couple of questions, which I’m sure no one could answer with much certainty, but here they are:</p>

<li> If I take a year off, but during that year earn college credit (18 credits I believe, not sure how much that is) and they successfully transfer to my college, would I be entering as a freshman or a sophomore, or just sort of in-between?</li>
<li> Do a lot of people rush sophomore year (or when they’re 19 going on 20 as opposed to 18)? Does it affect the experience (if there’s anyone who has done it)? Is it even allowed?</li>
<li> If I decide not to take a gap year, I still want to spend time traveling the world. I know people also take a gap year between undergrad/grad school or between college and the workforce. I have no idea if I’ll go to grad school or not, but if I don’t would a year between college and starting a career put me in a bad position compared to those who are fresh from classes?</li>

<p>That’s all I can think of off the top of my head. If anyone could answer any of these questions to the best of their ability, along with just general advice/knowledge on gap years and college afterwards, if anyone’s done anything like this, it would be a huge help. Thank you so much for reading (if anyone’s crazy enough to still be)!</p>



<p>With a significant amount of college credit after high school graduation, you would have to apply as a transfer to most schools other than the military service academies. Be aware that many schools accept few transfer students, and many that do prefer them to come in at the junior level rather than the sophomore level. In addition, merit scholarships tend to be much less common for transfer students, so if your high school record and test scores are excellent, you may have better low cost (merit scholarship) options as a frosh than as a transfer.</p>

<p>Typically, a “gap year” refers to taking a year off of school, with no formal school attendance after high school graduation.</p>