It is true that in many western countries, for example in Britain, students, after graduating from high school, will spend a whole year traveling or working before entering a university. This is commonly known as a gap year. It, however, is not the case in China, where students have to choose between continuing their education in a university and directly going to the workplace, which means no chance for further education. But as time passes, some people, including me, have understood the importance of gap year, for a year of traveling may enrich the knowledge of students, and a year of working may strengthen their will and let them cherish the opportunity for learning.
Firstly, a year of traveling in a country or around the world provides an excellent opportunity for students to know the world outside the school, thus learning much knowledge that is not available in the classroom and at the same time enriching their life experiences in an early age. It is clearly known that those high school students spend over ten years sitting in the classroom and learning and memorizing the out-of-date knowledge, and, therefore, many of them know little about the real world. However, traveling is rightly the chance for them to get involved in the outside world. During the travel, they may get familiar with someone who is different from those in universities, or enjoy the beauty and elegance of the scenery or the grievance of the history in a history museum. Those are not accessible in the university life.
Secondly, a year of working in a big company or even in a small shop helps shape their personalities and build their perseverance, which contributes much to their development and their future success. During the work, they must be serious and careful in many aspects. For example, they must learn to communicate with their boss in the proper manner, get along well with their colleagues, solve the awkward problems posed by clients, or even in some cases when they need to pacify their customers, measure their words. All these abilities and skills are essential in university and even in their future life, but are seldom taught in a university class. After this experience, they may know how to form and keep a good relationship with their classmates and teachers in universities, ensuring a good and bright life for the next years. What’s more, only after they have experienced the hard work can they convince themselves that learning is not a chance that can be easily gained and, therefore, cherish this opportunity and learn to take study more seriously.
Some opponents hold the belief that a year of working or traveling means a year’s stop in their education, which may not prepare them well for the university study after the year. But in fact, the examples in Britain have revealed that this is never a problem and those with a gap year are not worse than those without it.
In conclusion, with the development of the society, our education should also be adjusted to keep up. No development means backwardness. As has been stated above, a year of working or traveling can not only offer a chance for students to gain more knowledge of the real world, but also help build their personalities. It is time, henceforth, for us to advance our awareness on education.