Getting your college degree should be a priority at some point in your life. However, going to college is just wasted time if you don't really know what you want to do. Taking that year to figure out what you are interested in doing for a career is never a bad thing. Once you know what you want your life's work to be, you will study harder in school and get more out of it. Keep in mind that experience is always going to be your best teacher.
Save Up For School
Taking a year off from school gives you a chance to put more hours in at work. If you haven't gotten a lot of scholarships or grants, you may need to pay for college on your own. Taking out loans may not be an option either if you don't want to be drowning in debt after you graduate. Therefore, taking some time to save up money to pay for school as you go isn't a bad idea.
Get Yourself Mentally Ready For College
A lot of kids aren't ready for college right after they graduate from high school. Some assume that all you do is party and have a good time for the next four years. If that is what your mindset is, you should take a step back to evaluate your goals in life. Spending thousands of dollars to get your education means that you have to make the most of it. Spending your time and money on alcohol and skipping class will get you booted from school rather quickly. It's better to get that out of your system before you start classes.
Spend Some Time Traveling
Once you graduate from college, you won't have a lot of time to do anything that you want to. It might be a good idea to take that trip to Europe, that road trip across the country or visit as many baseball stadiums as possible right now. After graduation, you will be working to pay off your student loans and other debts. That won't leave a lot of time or money to do much else.
Pad Your Resume
A gap year is a great time to pad your resume with volunteer experience. Teaching inner city kids is a great way to help those in need while making your resume look better. Building a new community center for people in a third-world country can make their lives a little easier while making your resume come alive.
Taking a year off after graduating from high school isn't a bad idea. You can learn about yourself, get mentally prepared for college and save some money at the same time. Once you start school, you will be better prepared to study hard and pursue your dream career. It is much better than going to school when you are not ready for it.