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Top Reasons to Take a Gap YearDid you see the recent article in The Huffington Post "Top Reasons to Take a Gap Year?" In it, Dana Westreich Hirt, parent, coach, and development expert with an education and psychology background, shares her belief that a" gap year can provide opportunities and challenges beyond anything found on campus. This in turn fulfills another goal of a gap year, providing our children with experiences, building their capacity to better utilize their college years with more intention, focus and maturity."

Some additional reasons Dana highlights in the article are below.

Developmental Maturation. Four years of college go by quickly and we all want our children to use their time well as they figure out their major and navigate a different kind of independence. But not all 18 year olds are created equal. A gap year allows kids who are less developmentally mature to grow up a bit.

Academic Refresh. Some of our kids have really burned the candle at both ends during high school and they are frankly burned out. A gap year enables them to take a break from academic pressure and scholastic demands so they can enter college renewed and reinvigorated.

Interest Exploration. Most 18 year olds don't know what they want to be when they grow up. A gap year can expose them to career options, internships, personal exploration and more.

World View. We live in the most interconnected and interdependent world in our history, and yet, many of us know little about our global community. Gap year students fortunate enough to travel or pursue an opportunity in a different country have greater global awareness and often develop fluency in a foreign language.

Tool Belt. Much anecdotal, qualitative and increasingly quantitative research validates the benefits of a gap year. Undeniable benefits are the skills learned, the resiliency discovered and the confidence acquired. All of these get added to the metaphoric tool belt our children need to succeed in the college environment.

Read more from Dana's article.