The Pros And Cons Of Taking A Gap Year
Taking a gap year is a major milestone in your life. Like any major life decision, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of taking a gap year before you fully commit.
This once in a lifetime opportunity has to make sense to you. Ask yourself: Do you deserve a well-timed, welcomed break where you can do practically anything that you want to do? Yes, you do.
There are the pros of taking a gap year:
- Find Your Path In Life – Go on a gap year and discover yourself. You can do just about anything during a gap year because it’s your time. This is your first chance to not be a student. Try new things in new places. Use this time to decide what you like and what you don’t like.
- Experience The Real World – The real world is very different than academic life where you live at home. A gap year helps people learn how the real world operates. It provides them with a new perspective on life and on the world. From budgeting to traveling to human interactions, there is always something to learn.
- Learning Opportunity – Whether you learn a new language, experience new cultures, or develop your skill sets, a gap year is an ideal time to learn things that interest you. This learning doesn’t have to be out of a book or dictated by a professor – instead gap years allow you to learn what you want to learn.
- Limit Academic Burnout – By taking a break from the stress of student life, students are able to start college refreshed and excited to learn again. Most students will ultimately perform better at college after taking time off. Plus, they’ll know what they want to study.
- Happier – It’s a proven fact that people who take gap years are happier. This may be due to the reduced stress, the pursuit of their passions, or the opportunity to experience life. Whatever the reason, being happy is a good thing.
- Networking Opportunity – Life is all about who you know. On a gap year, you’re going to meet people from all over the world. You’ll get the opportunity to do amazing things with your global network and that can be a huge benefit in the future. You never know when the people you meet will be able to help you out.
- Be A More Interesting Person – People are attracted to interesting people who have things to talk about. Will you have unique stories about that time on the beach in Thailand or when you were building latrines in Nepal after your gap year is over? Hopefully.
- Build Your Resume – Be productive on your gap year and build your resume through internships, jobs, volunteering, or travel. Create a strong resume and it will help you land a job.
- Become A Global Citizen – Travel during your gap year and become a citizen of the world. See different cultures. Visit different places. Do new things. Experience how the world operates.
- Do What You Want To Do – Pursue your passions and live life to the fullest during your gap year. This is your time and it can help you define who you ultimately want to be.
There are the cons of taking a gap year:
- Expensive – Gap years aren’t cheap. It’s important to budget accordingly so that you can maximize your time and enjoyment.
- Planning – Planning a gap year is no easy task. Flights, jobs, accommodations, budgets, and goals must all be planned in advance. If you’re not a good planner, consider signing up for a gap year program, where they do the planning work for you.
- Not Doing Anything – Most people taking a gap year have grand plans to travel the world, save the sea turtles, or get an internship on Wall Street. Yet, a good number of people do not follow through with their goals and spend the summer playing PlayStation and watching Netflix. If you take a gap year, do something cool.
- Fear – Being scared holds people back from doing the things they want to do. Common gap year fears include being left behind, not knowing what to do, or stepping outside of your comfort zone. It’s your job to overcome these fears.
So what do you think? There are certainly way more pros than cons. Take a gap year and expand your horizons. It will totally change your world. Are you excited for your gap year?