REGION – Next week, high school seniors who are making the increasingly popular choice to take a gap year following high school graduation will have their day to shine. On May 25, students from across the country will take to social media to announce their gap year plans on the first Gap Year Decision Day. The concept first originated with athletic signing days to celebrate sports stars. Then in 2014, First Lady Michelle Obama initiated College Signing Day to rally college-bound seniors.
Gap Year Decision Day is a campaign spearheaded by prominent gap year industry leaders, including USA Gap Year Fairs, American Gap Association, GoOverseas.com, and EnRoute Consulting.
“We are seeing more and more students every year making the deliberate choice to take gap time and learn more about themselves as well as their academic and personal interests before pursuing higher education. Until now, there was no way for them to feel like a cohesive group,” said Julia Rogers, Founder of EnRoute Consulting. Rogers developed the campaign as a way to bring together the growing number of students deciding to take ‘time on’ in the form of a gap year.
Gap year students can do any number of things with their time, including group service learning, volunteering, interning, working abroad, backpacking, studying languages, and more. “Last year I had students who participated in a wide variety of activities – one student spent the year in Worcester, Massachusetts interning at a non-profit, while another volunteered in marine conversation in Madagascar, and yet another walked the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage in Spain.”
Alia Pialtos, Director of USA Gap Year Fairs, further explains the goal of the campaign. “We hope that Gap Year Decision Day will empower students by allowing them to feel like a connected community by sharing their unique educational paths. The possibilities for a gap year are endless, so this initiative will demonstrate to the public just how many students are taking gap time and exactly what students are planning to do,” she said.
High school seniors planning on taking a gap year are encouraged to post about their plans on May 25 using the hashtag #GapDecisionDay.