Subject: Pros & Cons of a Gap year before university
You spend approximately 14 years in education before you even step on the threshold of a university campus so the prospect of taking a gap year will sound more than appealing to most.
From a personal stance I would highly recommend it, my gap year taught me so much. I nearly entered a career I was certain I should be in only to end up studying a subject that has no resemblance to it in the slightest. I had time to work and save (It makes university a whole lot easier) find work experience which only confirmed that I had picked the right career path and still found time to travel.
So, if your reading this you’re probably considering whether or not to take a break before going on to university, I can’t tell you whether or not you should go but I can give you the information and you do what you think is best with it!
Let’s start with the positives – because we’re all about the positive vibes here.
1) Not 100% sure whether your course is the right one for you? Taking a year out to decide whether or not your making the best decision for you is better than wasting three years studying a degree to only go on and work in a completely different sector. Also, the whole 27k+ you’ve spent on student loans could have been avoided or better spent!
2) Time to find yourself – Discover what it is you love to do and what sets your soul on fire.
3) If all else fails and you still need another reason to take a gap year, TRAVEL. I went to Australia for mine. I mean this is probably the only time in your life before retirement that is, where you can take a holiday as long as you can afford.
4) Working in the real world, not only does this make you more employable once you do finish university but having a year to earn money before you start can take the pressure off whilst your there. Studying whilst working a job can be difficult (Believe me I know)
5) Internships, work experience or volunteer work. All valuable assets to your CV! If you take part in a gap year before university, you want to make sure it’s actually a good use of your time and you don’t spent the year sat in front of the TV.
Now for the not so pleasant negatives of deciding to defer your place at university.
1) The idea of spending your gap year travelling sounds like the perfect scenario doesn’t it? But there’s that little issue of just how expensive it can be and depending on your financial circumstance, just how realistic it is.
2) This may not be an important factor for you but taking a year out means the people you do start with will all be younger than you – This affected me more than I thought, I happened to take two years’ worth of a gap year before starting university so I was 20 surrounded by 18 year olds fresh out of college.
3) The dreaded “If you don’t go now you won’t ever go” this I don’t believe is relevant to everyone (obvs look at me) I got told this on a daily basis when I told my college teachers I was deferring. I think this is all just dependent on the individual in question and just how motivated they are to be successful in their chosen field.