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Malia Obama's decision to do a gap year before Harvard sent Twitter in a frenzy. But that doesn't mean her decision wasn't a highly mature one.

In this article from The Washington Post, titled "Why Harvard ‘encourages’ students to take a gap year. Just like Malia Obama is doing," it's clear that the benefits of a gap year are not about taking a year's vacation.

A gap year can reduce achievement pressure and burnout, increase college GPA, and help students find the skills and passions they need to succeed in college.