Stress, anxiety, and depression have never been worse among high school and college students, and I think Malia's decision can send the signal that a gap year is not just remedial, but aspirational.
There's still an idea that a gap year is for kids who are middle class and up, but that's changing with programs that are low-cost or free.
He said it's also possible to divide or blend a gap year between working a wage job to save for college and doing travel or volunteer work that provides meaningful learning and experience. But he notes research by the National Center for Education Statistics that shows delaying college without a goal beyond saving money may make one less likely to complete postsecondary education — or to earn as much later in life as those who do.
School was a way out of poverty...but I had this terrible feeling I was going to start achieving my dream with no reason of why I was going to school other than to gain security later.