First comes graduation, then comes… what?


Kean University Class of 2014 at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.

By Bhriana Smith

It is May, and in the world of college students, it is the end of a long, safe, pre-determined path that most of us have followed: go to high school, go to college, then graduate. Now that you have made it to the end, the only remaining question is: What do I do now?

Some graduating seniors will go to graduate school to pursue master or doctorate degrees, but the majority of students will take a gap year.

A gap year is a period of time, usually one or two years after graduation, where students take a break from formal education to travel, volunteer, or do an internship/fellowship before continuing with graduate/professional school or starting a job, according to a study done at Yale University. Many students take a gap year because they want a mental break

“I plan to take a gap year and go to graduate school in 2016,” said Anthony Watts, a graduating Cougar. “I think the gap year will benefit me financially.”

Watts, a Criminal Justice major with a minor in Psychology, isn’t the only one that plans to take advantage of a gap year.

“I want to take time off to get myself on my feet and find out what I’m good at,” said John Brooks, a Communication major with a concentration in Public Relations. “I really want to establish myself before heading back to school.”

There are some students that are afraid a gap year will do more harm than good, especially to their academic habits.

“I don’t want to take a break because I’m scared I’ll never go back,” said Tiara Mann, an English major with a minor in Journalism. “I need school to remain my number one priority.”

Regardless of your post-graduation plans, it is important to do what you feel will benefit you mentally, financially and emotionally.

And to all the Kean Cougars graduating this year…



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