Transitioning from high school to tertiary education can be quite challenging. Often times, students, upon graduating from high school, are required to make key decisions concerning their future, and educational path. You will need to decide which institution to apply to, the course to study which will align to your desired career path, and so on. Hence, it is important to take a break to think about your next step. This break is often referred to as ‘gap year’.
What Does Gap Year Mean?
The term ‘gap year’ refers to a period of time, mainly before or after university, where an individual takes some time off study to explore the world through traveling, volunteering, gaining work experience, and so on. Basically, taking break gives you room to decide which career path to choose. Much more, you get discover a lot of things you never knew about yourself.
In this article, we’ve explored a few reasons why you should take a gap year. Here are 6 major reasons to take a gap year.
To Avoid Burnout
Many times work or school places a lot of demand on us. Whether you are a student, or you are working, you can experience burnout. As a student, do you recall the last time you were not in school? You that work, when was the last time you took a breather in between graduating and your career? If you are unable to recall these times, then know it is time to take a break. A gap year can help you avoid burnout.
To Improve Academically
Having spent several years in high school, taking a gap year can save you from academic burnout. Most times you return with so much energy and motivation. Recent studies have shown that students who take gap years tend to do much better academically. During your year abroad, you can get internship placements or even volunteer for an organization. You can incorporate these experiences into your studies by contributing immensely to class discussions.
To Gain New Skills
Taking a gap year presents you with an opportunity to learn new set of skills like how to cook a new cuisine, how to surf, ski etc. You can even learn soft skills such as resilience, patience, confidence, even tolerance. Much more, you can learn a new language. Skills learnt during this period can prove useful in the future while seeking for job.
To Boost Your Resume
Contrary to popular opinion, taking a gap year can serve as a booster to your resume. Traveling abroad, learning a new language or skill, volunteering or interning for organizations to gain work experience, when present in your resume, tend to draw the attention of interviewers or college administrators. The soft skills acquired during your gap year stands you out from your peers.
To Meet New People
No doubt, creating lifelong friendships is very vital to living a successful life. One great thing about taking a gap year is that you travel and meet different folks from different parts of the world.
To Change the Way You Think
This is arguably the most important reason to take a gap year. We live in a diverse world – different culture, religion and social background. While taking a gap year, you can choose to travel round the world. During this period, you will meet persons from different culture, religion, even social background as you. This creates a cultural awareness in you, and changes the way you think about people, see and relate with others.
When is The Best Time to Take a Gap Year?
The best time to take a gap year varies from one person to another. Some students can choose to take a break before going to the university. Others can choose to take a break upon graduation from the university, but before seeking a job. Either way, it is necessary and advisable to take a break.
Can I take a Gap Year When I’m Enrolled in a University?
Yes, you can. However, unless you have a very good reason to do so, we do not recommend you take a gap year when you are enrolled in a university. Doing so can be perceived by employers as a lack of commitment.
The benefits of taking a gap year cannot be overemphasized. Nowadays, individuals all over the world are considering taking a gap year. From Australia to the Europe, South America, Asia, even parts of Africa. Whether you are a student or one who is already working, it is vital to plan for a gap year to avoid burnout coming as a result of demands from school and work. Also you will learn new skills, meet new people, change your perception about the world, and even boost your resume.
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