School is over, you haven’t quite figured out what to do with your life or where it will take you. You don’t know if there is something out there that will help you achieve the future that you envision. Well, have you considered taking a gap year? For those who are unfamiliar with a “Gap Year”, it’s essentially a break between high school and university where you have the opportunity breathe and relieve yourself from all the stress from years at school. A gap year provides opportunities to learn in a different way than you’re used too. Participation in a gap year might be what you need to find what it is that you’re interested in. Most of the time when taking a gap year you travel, which can be part of the adventure of the experience. The pros of taking such a trip are as follows:
One of the biggest pros of taking a gap year is the preparation for college that you will develop throughout the experience. Taking a gap year and traveling to a new country can teach you the independence and maturity you were lacking in high school, since you won’t really have your parents to be to tell you what you need to do, everything is on you. Whether you’re far away or close to home, you will need to learn life skills in order to be able to take care of yourself. In university, no one will tell you what to do or how you to do something; you’ll need to solve your problems in an appropriate and mature matter. These trips and experiences will surely prepare you for the life of a college student. You’re on your own son.
Now, let’s say that you were accepted into your dream university, though without that scholarship offer you were hoping for. You reach into your wallet and metaphorical flies fly out revealing the change from the McDonalds you had down the road. Your parents say they will put in for the first years but the rest is your responsibility. Leading us nicely to the second pro: working! After high school, you should have some skills to work with. However, you could also go into something you have no knowledge about. Taking on a job during a gap year could financially help you to enter a college or live the college life. You will not only save money but you will get work experience building work etiquette that will give you an advantage over others.
Moving on, the third pro in taking a gap year is purely to reflect on your future. You’re coming out of school thinking I’ve applied for college, but what in the world am I going to do with my life, I won’t live forever. You are probably right, you won’t live forever, but what if you could take some time off to reflect on what you wanna do with your life. There are multiple ways of taking this reflection. You could travel somewhere in the world and experience different things that will inspire you. Finding out about a hidden talent that you had and you want to develop it better in college. Finding out more about the roles in a particular company might interest you, leading you to study towards that particular career path. You could take part in Social Services helping out those in need by volunteering and seeing that feeling that makes you happy.
Another pro is gaining a new perspective on the world. The possible adventure of taking a gap year will challenge you to get out of your comfort zone. Living and working in different environments can expand your horizon and help achieve things that were out of reach before. While doing something different, you will be gaining new perspectives on life and academics. This could help you in finding out who you are by doing something you never thought you could do. You could find out about a place that interests you and possibly apply for university there given your familiarity as a result of your gap year.
Finally, a gap year can be used as a chance to travel around the world. Wouldn’t it be cool to take a safari across the African savanna? This pro is more relaxed and enjoyable (and expensive) but it can be a great learning experience for anyone. Travelling, especially on your own, comes with a lot of responsibility and it should help you develop that skill at an advanced level. By traveling to different countries, you’ll learn about different cultures and possibly learn new languages. Maybe even find yourself in a place that you love and want to live in. You will be able to mature as you travel around the world thinking about what your life could come to be and how it could be something that you’d never imagined.
In conclusion, a “gap year” can be a very good resource to help find out what you want to do with your life. You should take this as a learning experience to rest but still continue on the search for what you are going to do in the future instead of chilling the whole time. Try and see the world and maybe something will inspire you. It’s your future, you do with it what you want.
Photo credit: Alpa. “The Case for Taking a Gap Year.” FLIPlacement, 12 Aug. 2017,