Call it a breather; call it a break. Either way, is it worth it?
Taking gap years before or after university is becoming a whole lot more common, but it’s generally a given rule that once you start entering adulthood, gap years are a thing you did (or should have done) in the past.
There’s no surprise there, of course: It’s hard to quit your job and take a proper break for a year when you have a family to feed, a house loan to pay off, and a million and one responsibilities. But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible, and neither that means that you should.
Adult gap years help you recentre yourself, and can give you a much-needed time-out to rethink your priorities and understand the person who you have become over the years. See, as adults, we never give ourselves time to sit down and ask ourselves if we’re happy or if this is the life we want to be living. Gap years away from responsibilities can help us determine where we want our life to go next.
Adult gap years can lead to greatness. Yes, it’s only through hard-work and determination that you’ll ever make an idea work, but you can’t make an idea work if you don’t have an idea in the first place. This time away from the daily grind will open your eyes to what you’re normally too busy to see. Who knows where that could lead you?
Adult gap years are a chance to give back. Volunteering in a foreign country is a popular way of spending an adult gap year, particularly as it is both emotionally fulfilling and physically occupying – i.e. you don’t have to worry that you’ll get bored or that your mind will suddenly go, ‘WTF am I doing with my life?’ More importantly, volunteering gives us a purpose, which is lacking in many people’s lives.
Adult gap years can help alleviate stress. How often do you find yourself unable to catch a break? How often do you wake up and wonder when this soul-destroying routine will end? My assumption is all too often. A gap year will give you a break from the stress of everyday life, and give you new avenues to explore for future jobs, projects, pastimes and relationships.
Now, through all this, I’m not saying that you should abandon your families, spouses, children and pets. And, obviously, each person’s situation is different. But, there are ways around most of those situations: If you’re in a relationship without kids, you could go together with your significant other. If you have children, you could take them with you and make that break a three-month one. Either way, if you want to do it – or if you feel like you need to do it – you’re probably the only thing standing in your way!
What do you think about adult gap years? Would you take one?
Let us know in the comments section below.
Featured image by Mike