It's an investment in your future.
Perhaps the most compelling reason for taking a gap year is that it offers a unique opportunity that will likely never reappear. For prospective students thinking about the next step in their lives: Don't rule out anything, including a gap year.
And in case you're wondering if forgoing that year of work experience will "look bad" to future employers, the answer, at least for me, is "no." The key is to do something valuable with your time, and then highlighting this experience on your resume and during interviews.
I'm not really sure where this gap year is going to take me (or whether it's going to be successful) but I'm excited to take a chance, not have anything planned, and see what opportunities this year brings.
To anyone contemplating taking a gap year: I cannot urge strongly enough that there is no better way to transform yourself from a lost high school kid who thinks they've got a clue, to a young adult who's starting to get the idea that cluelessness is a necessary part of life.
Dismissing the gap year concept as another privilege of the 1 percent does a disservice to us all, as society would gain substantially from a generation of more engaged, self-directed and academically-motivated young people.
The biggest unexpected benefit from my gap year is that it gave me the time to figure out what I did not want my career to be. During college, I had my whole life planed out. My gap year helped me understand that my ultimate fulfilling career will probably not be so black and white.
We spend the first 18 years of our life learning English, math, science and history. Once we know how to write in MLA format and long divide, we're expected to have the tools to select the best path to lead us to our dream career.
What most of us do is we graduate with degrees in finance and have no clue what we want to do with it. Well, if you had taken a little bit more time to be reflective on really what matters and why, it may make that big, huge cash investment and time investment worthy.