Pros and Cons of taking a gap year following high school

Deciding whether or not to take a gap year is not as simple as it sounds.

Are you ready to ship out of home for places unknown? Are you ready to take on an adult’s job? Are you ready to step off the conveyer belt that is carrying you and your schoolmates along? 

Here’s a look at the pros and cons of taking a gap year. Take these into consideration when you are deciding whether or not the world is actually calling you right now. 

 

  • Not everyone knows what he or she wants to do when they leave school. It is easy to go with the flow, but taking time off for a gap year can give you time to learn more about yourself so that deciding on your next step is a little easier
  • If you know what area you want to study, you can use your gap year to gain some experience (either by working or by volunteering) in your chosen field. This can make it easier to get into your chosen course or degree, and even to get a part-time job in the field while studying. It can help when you get to look for work after your studies too.  
  • Get to know who you are.  A gap year lets you do something else other than being a student. Can you handle working?  Can you find your way into and out of awkward situations? Can you handle people not understanding you, or being able to be understood? There is a lot of learning in a gap year. 
  • You may get the chance to get on your feet in terms of money. Working for some or most of your gap year can mean you go into and leave studies with way less financial pressure. It can be a smart money move.   
  • You’ll gain new experiences. Whether you go travelling, or stay home and get some work experience, you’ll gain new experiences, meet new people, and hopefully learn some things about life along the way. 

 

  • You’ll be a year behind your peers when you do start studying.  This can be challenging for those whose friends are all at universities and techs. Graduating will also be a year further away. 
  • You may find that you get out of practice when it comes time to start studying again, and assignments and exams could be a little harder. 
  • Maybe you get tempted by a good offer or opportunity when it may be in your best interests to enter study after your gap year instead. 
  • You might not earn as much money as you hoped you might in your gap year, ruining travel and possibly even future study plans. 
  • You may find that your gap year off leaves you with little motivation to do anything. All your friends are off studying or working and you’re left at home with nothing to do. Alternatively, you may just find that you are now in no hurry to return home.

Find out more about taking some time out

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