"A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions."
-- Oliver Wendell Holmes
Happy Spring! For many students, March and April means college notification time with decisions due May 1. It also represents an excellent time for students and parents to consider postponing college for a semester or year and requesting a deferment. Check on the college deferment policy as to what they allow and note the deadline for the request (usually June 1).
A gap year may not be for everyone, but it is worth exploring. If, as a parent or college counselor, you see that your child/student is feeling burnt out and needing to recharge before taking on four more years of academic study, weigh whether time out might be a good idea. Tuition is an expensive investment. Given the current six year average time frame that it takes students to graduate, investing a year to learn about and challenge oneself while gaining confidence and self-reliance makes good sense. Based on recent studies conducted at UNC and Middlebury by Bob Clagett, students who have taken gap years have higher grade point averages throughout their four years at college, indicating motivation and focus. Colleges find that gappers enrich class discussions with their real world experiences and actively start up or engage in club activities. Everyone develops differently, so often times, someone may need additional time outside the four walls of the traditional classroom to grow and to “be stretched by a new experience”.
Taylor The Gap services help guide students who may feel overwhelmed and confused in exploring the myriad number of gap year options seen on the internet and at gap year fairs. TTG works closely with students to select the options that are best suited to their interests and needs. Would a smaller, more structured program be better for a particular student than a more independent, less supervised program? Can a seasoned traveler handle an internship with other international volunteers in a developing country? Many factors come into play when customizing the ideal gap year experience.
TESTIMONY FROM FATHER OF STUDENT WHO RECENTLY RETURNED FROM SOUTH EAST ASIA. "Marion was an invaluable resource and collaborator in helping design and implement a gap year program for my son. As I felt lost and overwhelmed on where to start, she not only provided direction on the type of program that would best suit him, but eased my mind as a parent by sharing her own experiences as a parent herself. In her conversations with my son, she was able to not only inspire him to accept the challenges of what the program would offer, but also ease his fears about the unknown. I am so thankful there are people out there like Marion who combine such expertise with deep compassion."
TESTIMONY FROM STUDENT WHO TRAVELED IN THE SOUTH PACIFIC REGION. "Marion Taylor is a lovely woman who works incredibly hard to find the right gap program for you. When I first met her, she was outgoing and so easy to talk to. She really catered to my interests for a gap program and worked hard and efficiently to give me the best possible options. Not only did she provide me with the perfect gap year program, she was extremely insightful about traveling in general. Marion is the one to go to for gap year programs, whether you want to go to Africa, South East Asia, or any where in the world, she will help you find the most appropriate program for you."