With many colleges and universities still deciding when to re-open their campuses after they were shuttered due to COVID-19, many high school seniors are thinking about taking a gap year. Putting off college during the pandemic might enable them to get the on-campus experience they desire in 2021 instead of going to school remotely this fall.

由于新型冠狀病毒COVID-19的原因,許多大學仍在考慮什么時候重新開放校園,許多高中畢業生在考慮休間隔年。在大流行病期間推遲上大學,而不是今年秋天遠程上學,或許能讓他們在2021年獲得他們所想要的校園體驗。

Traditionally, a gap year is a semester or year of learning through experience. It is typically taken after high school and before college or starting a career. However, some college students choose to take a gap year while they’re still in college or before going to graduate school.

從傳統意義上講,間隔年是指花一個學期或一年通過親身經歷去學習。通常是在高中畢業、上大學或開始職業生涯之前。也有一些大學生選擇在他們還在上大學時或讀研之前休一年的間隔年。

As the coordinator of a research group that examines the impact of taking a gap year, here are five ways that students will benefit from the gap year experience.

作者是一個研究小組的組長(該小組研究了休間隔年的影響),以下是學生們將從休間隔年的經歷中受益的5種方式。

1. Avoid burnout

1. 避免過度疲勞

Perhaps most importantly, given the pressure in many high schools to excel in school and extracurricular activities to gain admission to college, a gap year gives students the opportunity to do something completely different. Just taking that step off the treadmill can lead to new growth and self-discovery.

也許最重要的是,考慮到在高中時為了取得優異成績而承受的壓力以及為了進入大學而參加的課外活動,間隔年給學生們提供了做一些完全不同的事情的機會。只是走出高壓生活,就能帶來新的成長和自我探索。

2. Gain maturity

2. 變得更加成熟

Taking a break from your formal education can contribute to a deeper appreciation of what the purpose of school is really all about. This, in turn, allows students to begin college with a more mature and focused mindset.

從你的正規教育中抽身出來休息一下,可以讓你更深刻地認識到學校的目的到底是什么。這轉而又能讓學生們以更加成熟和專注的心態開始大學生活。


3. Boost academic performance

3.提高學業成績

Could taking a break slow down a student’s academic momentum? Actually, research conducted by an economist at Middlebury College – and replicated at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill – found the opposite is true. Not only did students who took a gap year perform, on average, better than those who did not, they actually performed better than would have been predicted, based on their academic credentials when they applied to college. For instance, the study found that the students who took a gap year earned GPAs that were .15 to .25 points higher than predicted.

休息一下會減少學生的學習動力嗎?事實上,由米德爾伯里學院的一位經濟學家進行的一項研究發現,事實恰恰相反——北卡羅來納大學教堂山分校也進行了同樣的研究。平均而言,休間隔年的學生的表現不僅比那些沒有休間隔年的學生好,而且比根據他們在申請大學時的“學術資歷”所預測的要好。例如,研究發現,休間隔年的學生的GPA(Grade Point Average,平均績點)比預期高0.15到0.25分。

4. Earn academic credit

4. 獲得學分


5. Gain independence

5. 變得更加獨立

It’s not necessary to stick with a formal gap year program or limit yourself to just one activity. In my 45 years of working with gap year students, I’ve found that some of the best gap year experiences are those that are self-designed.

并不一定要參加一個正式的間隔年項目或者限制自己只參加一項活動。在我與休間隔年的學生一起工作的45年中,我發現一些最好的間隔年經歷是學生自己設計的。


One memorable example was a student from Oklahoma who spent the first four months of her gap year tending llamas at a monastery in North Dakota, the next four months working for a lawyer in Tulsa and the last four volunteering at an orphanage in the Dominican Republic.

有一個令人難忘的例子,一位來自俄克拉何馬州的學生在間隔年的前四個月在北達科他州的一個修道院照顧美洲駝,接下來的四個月在塔爾薩為一名律師工作,最后四個月在多米尼加共和國的一個孤兒院做志愿者。

Resources available

可用資源

While taking a gap year can often cost a lot of money, that doesn’t mean the gap year experience is limited only to those who can afford it. Many of the more expensive gap year programs offer need-based financial aid.

雖然休間隔年通常會花很多錢,但這并不意味著間隔年的經歷僅限于那些負擔得起的人。許多更昂貴的間隔年項目提供基于需求的經濟資助。

It is also important to remember that many self-designed gap year experiences can cost very little, or even provide the opportunity to earn money through jobs or paid internships. Alternatively, it could involve doing volunteer work while living at home. For volunteer experiences away from home, sometimes students get their travel and living expenses covered. Service opportunities are often voluntary and therefore unpaid, but programs such as AmeriCorps’ City Year provide stipends to cover room and board expenses.

而且許多自己設計的間隔年經歷可能花費很少,甚至提供了通過工作或帶薪實習賺錢的機會?;蛘?,也可以選擇在家做義工。至于離家在外的志愿者活動,有些可以報銷旅費和生活費。服務機會通常是自愿的,因此是無償的,但美國志愿隊的City Year等項目會提供食宿津貼。


For high school seniors contemplating deferring enrollment in college until they can be assured of having the on-campus experience they envisioned, May and early June is the time to consider gap year opportunities and to inform the college admissions office of their desire to delay their enrollment. Not all colleges have the same gap year policies, however, and some are reviewing them in the context of the current pandemic. For these reasons, it is important to learn what a particular college’s or university’s policies are and to make sure you meet the deadlines to inform the institution of your plans.

對于正在考慮將大學入學推遲到他們能夠確保擁有他們所預想的校園生活的高中畢業生來說,5月和6月初是考慮間隔年機會并告訴大學招生辦公室他們推遲入學的愿望的時間。然而,并不是所有的大學都有同樣的間隔年政策,一些大學在當前大流行病的背景下重新審視這些政策。由于這些原因,了解某個特定大學的政策并確保在最后期限前告訴機構你的計劃,這很重要。