Closing The GAP
There are gaps in life. We all encounter them. From staying at home or daycare to preschool. Single to dating. Elementary school to middle school. Not having to having an email account. Middle to High School. Getting a first job. Married. And so much more. Oh, I almost forgot the most important one, at least for our conversation today. The GAP between High School and whatever comes next.
The assumption is typically a high school grad will walk the stage in the Spring and right onto a college campus in the fall. There is nothing wrong with this plan for some, but there is something wrong with us assuming this is the next best step for freshly minted graduates. So, what can we do?
Well, first it’s important to remember that of the students who take a GAP Year, 90% return within a year, and are more likely than their peers to graduate on time and with better grades. Next, it’s key we start as early as possible helping youth/young adults do a few things:
Identify their why. Not ours or someone else's but their own.
Learn how they’re wired. At LH we use a tool called DISC to help understand our wiring and how we communicate.
Know their Values.
When we find the intersection of these three areas we are more likely to identify our passion or purpose. When a grad knows this, it’s much easier to make their Next Step decision. Where to go, what to study, where they may want to work or serve, and much more.
If you’ve already crossed that stage, imagine how having this information may have made your decisions easier or filled with more confidence. If you know someone who is at or about to be at this gap, share this with them, help them close the gap in the next step decision.
Not only can an intentional and planned Gap Year save money, but it will likely reduce stress and boost confidence heading into the next chapter. This is what I’d call a win-win. The young adult wins by having more information at hand to make important decisions and we as a society win because we also have what I like to call “the right butts in the right seats.”
Together we can remove the assumption and close the gap at a vital crossroads in life. One that almost all of us come upon in our journey. Together we can put the right tools in the hands of those making the decisions and end up with more people in the right seats on this ride we call life.
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