Taking a gap year in between sixth form and university – or even between university and working life or from one degree to another – could be one of the best decisions you’ll ever make!
When I finished Junior College, I was eager to go to University, get my degree and start earning a proper living. With that mind-set, I literally spent three years waiting for my graduation, and the next eight living for the weekend as I did a job I absolutely hated.
Now, I don’t put all of that down to the fact that I didn’t give myself time to actually think about what I wanted to do. After all, I knew that I didn’t want to do what I was studying for, but I thought only of the money… Yet I’m pretty sure that a gap year would have cleared my mind and sorted out my priorities, because a gap year:
Helps you perform better at university or work. It helps you mature and live life as an adult before you even become one. You get to work, travel and experience things that university or working life simply don’t leave time for!
Allows you to be adventurous at a time when you’re young and have the energy and time to spend on such adventures. Once you start working full-time, take out loans, and build a family, you will very, very, very rarely be able to go on a Eurotour for three months or go on a working holiday to Australia.
Gives you time to think and to find yourself. In fact, since a gap year is a non-defined experiment that could be spent anywhere, it will give you a sense of freedom you’ll rarely get to experience in your life. The trick is to go for it and the rest will follow.
Boosts your CV by giving you experiences no university degree can. Through freedom and necessity, gap years can truly push you to your limits, allow you to experience new things, meet new people, and get you out of your comfort zone!
Helps you realise what you really love. So many people have a warped idea of what being a lawyer or a chef really means. So many people love the idea of things or the status a particular job would give them, rather than the actual job. A gap year spent exploring the area you’d like to get into will give you first-hand experience without tying you down.
So, go on. Take a year off. Explore life. Screw the system!
Do you agree with James? Should young adults take gap years?