What is a Gap Year and Why You Should Go for It?


Sat, 07/30/2022 - 11:16

For high school seniors, the end of the semester and the beginning of summer break also sign the end of their 12 years of formal schooling and the commencement of the rest of their lives. The transition from the halls of the high school to a university campus is often a welcoming one. Even if they are enthusiastic about continuing their education, some young people find it acclimating to the idea of moving from one classroom to another so fast. Many students believe they need a gap year following high school before beginning college. So before opting for a gap year, let’s know what it is.

What is a Gap Year?

Before you jump into any decision, let’s know about what a gap year is. A gap year is a year that you prefer to take a break from, let that be from high school or college. Students usually prefer to take a break if they are uncertain about what they should pursue in college and progress in their careers. While there are numerous activities you can do to relax your mind and find out your true self, where your interest lies, and what courses you should prefer to pursue your career in? Hence taking a gap year won’t be a that bad choice. It can help you find your purpose in your career. Some of the factors that you must consider while trying to figure out your true purpose in life include;

  1. Things that you love to do
  2. Things that you are good at
  3. Problems of the world that needs to be solved
  4. Things which you can be paid for

What A Gap Year Isn’t?

There are various things that you shouldn’t spend your gap year doing them. You shouldn’t spend your gap year playing video games or partying with an extended spring break-like vacation on the beach. Think about all the things you need to do in your gap year, plan them accordingly, and not just roam around to create some Instagram-able moments. You need to take the time to understand yourself, experience yourself, consider those moments, and have the time and space to reflect on them.

Should You Take a Gap Year?

Like any significant life decision, taking a gap year also has advantages and disadvantages. Since every student is different, and so is every situation. Hence before deciding whether or not you should take a gap year, take some time to consider your ambitions, your interest, your goals, and your specific situation.

Things To Consider Before Taking a Gap Year:

  • How much is your budget?
  • Do you have dependents?
  • Can you possibly delay your admissions, scholarships, and financial aid if you`'re in college?
  • If you`'re already employed, will your employer let you take a lot of time off, or do you need to resign?
  • What are your goals and aspirations for taking a break?

Gap Year Advantages

A gap year has several advantages, like the chance for self-reflection, rejuvenation, and recuperation. You’ve undoubtedly spent years engrossed in hard work with no respite, whether you are working full time or attending a high school, college, or graduate school. You’ve had a busy schedule since you were young, but a gap year can help you unwind from those pressures.

You can take control of your schedule during a gap year, releasing yourself from pressure from your work or course load. You are free to decide how you want to interact with the environment around you. Before transitioning to the following phase of life, you might broaden your perspective and engage in self-reflection. Many people will also take advantage of this opportunity to develop their responsibility and new life skills.

The perception of the gap years among colleges and employers has improved over the past several years as students and prospective job employees return with a fresh sense of purpose and enhanced soft skills. According to data from the Gap Year Association, 96% of gap year alumni claimed improved self-confidence, and 93% said they enhanced their communication skills. In addition to the personal benefits, 84% of respondents mentioned that they acquired skills to advance their careers and 75 percent stated that the gap year aided them in finding employment. The misconception that students who take a gap year will not graduate was disapproved by the same data. 90% o of students returned to school after the gap year.

The knowledge, contacts, and experiences gained during a gap year can help you stand out from the competition on your resume, which will help you land more interviews and increase your chances of receiving financial aid, grants, and scholarships.

Gap Year Disadvantage

The most frequent reason for hesitancy is the financial commitment of taking a year off. Traveling can be costly, and there may be long-term financial consequences. Every choice has an opportunity cost, and taking time off could put you “behind” your schoolmates or co-workers in the workplace. This can imply that it takes longer to graduate or catch up financially with your classmate. Although this is less obvious in college and graduate school, it may also make you the oldest student in your class.

You may lose some momentum even though taking a gap year might provide you with some excellent mental getaways and enable you to return to your work or education with renewed zeal. You’ll need to give yourself some time to settle back into your regular studying and working schedule. According to the Wall Street Journal, about 10% of college students who take a gap year choose not to continue their studies following their break.

Last but not least, opting for a gap year requires preparation, planning, and financial stability to support it. Also, traveling and exploring the world can get lonely. Many of the same aspects of a gap year that encourages your growth are also quite difficult. When making the significant lifestyle adjustments, that come with traveling abroad, it’s crucial to consider your mental health and welfare into account. The CDC has advice on traveling and mental health. So, before setting off on a long-term international trip, please go through and understand the possible risks and stresses

How Long a Gap Year Should You Take?

The term, ‘gap year’ can be a little misleading because there is no requirement that it be a full year. Some gappers will start their gap year in a few weeks, while others may decide to skip a semester of school. Similar to this, some people work sporadically for longer than a year or divide their time up across several years.

When Should You Take a Gap Year?

No guideline set needs to be followed regarding when you are permitted to take a gap year. However, there are some built-in gaps in the timetables of school and employment that presents wonderful opportunities. After high school or college graduation, the most convenient time is to take a gap year. Despite this, more professionals are choosing to take a gap year from their jobs. You’re discovering that the term “gap year” is highly adaptable, and you’re never too old to take a sabbatical and make an investment in yourself. 

  1. After High School

While most students have decided on their majors for their university, a lot of students find it difficult to decide. They are not ready to go to the university right after high school. This makes it an opportunistic time for a gap year for them. A gap year can help you to get out on your own without the pressures of college classes, explore your humanity, and perhaps discover what you’re genuinely passionate about before investing a ton of money in your first two semesters. It may put you a year behind your peers, as they might have a degree sooner than you, yet it will set you far ahead of them in your experiences and global network.

  1. During College

You can take a gap year after a year or two of college. This will help you re-evaluate and recommit to your education. At this point, you will have life experiences that will make traveling alone less daunting. Now that you are free to travel alone, you will be ready to make new friends in distant places. You will feel the change when you return. You might find that your priorities have shifted, which is expected and completely normal. A gap year puts a new perspective on life, and that`'s a good thing!

  1. After College

Just like taking a gap year after a gap year after high school, a gap year after graduating from college is a chance for a much-needed break! There is no doubt that the pressure to start working increases. However, many people view this time as their final opportunity for a big experience before devoting years to developing a job. 

A gap year helps you improve your resume and gives you some interesting topics to discuss when you return and start conducting job interviews. Your ability to deal with individuals from all walks of life and adapt to various situations will help you in the workplace. Additionally, you will realize how many opportunities are available and you might even forage relationships or discover a job that entirely alters your life`'s trajectory.

  1. As An Adult

Taking a gap year in the middle of your career, often known as a professional gap year, is still a possibility, despite the fact that it’s an excellent choice. You can acquire perspective on a potential career move or promotion with the aid of a gap year. It can aid in your transition to a new stage of life, such as being an empty-nester or leaving long-term work.

While there are additional obstacles to overcome while taking a gap year as an adult, you may also have considerably more freedom. You’ll probably, have a larger budget and a clearer understanding of what you want to accomplish out of your gap year as an adult.

Things to do in a gap year.

So, if you’ve finally decided to take a gap year, but you’re stuck with the question, “what I should do in the gap year?”.  If you are also stuck up in with the same question, then here is the list of things that you can do to thrive in your career.

Five things that you can do in your gap year;

Travel and explore!

One of the most preferred options for the gap year is traveling, often beyond the country`'s borders. There is a big world out there and it’s the best time to travel and explore. From the jungles of South America to the beaches of Asia, the ancient cities of Europe to the grasslands of Africa, there are a lot of places to explore. Traveling to a new place allows you to explore new places abroad, experience their culture, and learn new things. By taking a gap year, you can travel alone, live with your family, work as an au pair or teach children and explore the world.

Do some volunteering work.

Volunteering is an excellent option to do in your gap year. Along with traveling, you can choose some volunteering works to do that will help you in your university as well as during your job interview. Making an appropriate project selection can be quite lucrative. You’ll have the opportunity to benefit communities, pick up new skills, and increase your self-assurance. No matter if you choose to do volunteering programs domestically or abroad, it will still be one of your best decisions so far.

You can opt for volunteering works like Childcare, conservation, or anything. While many travel programs include volunteering opportunities as part of their larger itineraries, teenagers might also consider becoming involved locally at places like neighborhood food banks or animal shelters, or with nationwide initiatives like Habitat for Humanity.

Explore more about that place.  

You can truly immerse yourself in a new culture and community when you travel for longer than a few weeks. This allows you to have an authentic adventure. Learn about customs, explore hidden cafes, and find out more about those places. Make friends in the area to receive invitations to neighborhood activities. With their extensive local expertise, our location team will introduce you to sights and sounds that you might not otherwise experience.

Learn a new Language.

If you are traveling somewhere abroad, then learning a new language must be on your list. Learning a new language will be a lot beneficial for you. It will be better if you are able to speak some local languages at the bus station or the local market. Also, you can add this to your CV to impress the recruiters.

Exploring your career.

Before enrolling in college, young adults can use internships to explore several career options and get a taste of a particular industry. In addition, studying a craft or working as a professional profession in sports or the arts have more options in this category, providing them time to refine their skills and widen their networks.



Paid Employment:

Although it may not have the most glamorous sounding title among these options, a year of paid work without the pressures of the school enables future college students to save money for college, buy items they’ll need to live independently, and get the money to pay for room and board and school supplies, easing some financial concerns when they do start college.

Create an impressive CV:

A gap year program could be the ideal opportunity for college applicants and individuals hoping to better their employment prospects in 2022 to gain real-world work experience. Work experience will make you stand out from the competition, whether it is an internship in fashion design or somewhere you like to.

Shri Resume is a free resume builder (and CV format) that provides well-crafted resumes tailored just according to your needs. Our resumes are designed to highlight the most important details about you that will boost your chances of getting selected for your dream job.

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