Taking a gap year can be extremely beneficial to one’s personal growth. Some studies show that those who take a gap year perform better in university and are more satisfied with their careers afterwards.
Even though it goes against the norm of starting university or college as soon as you finish high school, a gap year can be quite beneficial. Depending on how you spend your time, it can teach you a lot of valuable skills and can lead to new experiences entering your life.
Here is why you should consider taking a gap year:
Explore your interests
Often, students spend their high school careers juggling schedules packed with university preparatory courses, sports, volunteer commitments and other extracurricular activities. This means that you may not have had time to fully explore your interests as well as potential careers that align with them.
However, it is advisable to take a gap year and partake in practical experience in a field of your interest. This can help you to focus on selecting a university major that fits your interests and strengths.
Increase your work experience
There are very few jobs that don’t require some work experience, and a gap year could be a great time to start building this up. Use this time off constructively by keeping the majority of it related to a course or industry you’re interested in.
Many students who do this often start university in a more mature state. They have better time management skills and can see the importance of the material that is delivered to them.
These students also generally tend to perform very well, if not better than they would without the gap year.
Whether it’s learning to budget when planning for your vacation or using your initiative to make your way across the city/country, you’ll have developed a lot of skills that employers want.
Get to know yourself
Taking a gap year can lead to you finding yourself and getting to know more about your wants and needs. Heading straight into university can bog you down with studies and new people with little time for yourself.
A gap year will also raise your cultural awareness. Use some of the free time to get to know or even work alongside different people, whether it’s locally or abroad will allow you to appreciate other cultures.
Increase your confidence and independence
There are community programmes and organisations such as the Doctors Without Borders where you can work as a volunteer during your gap year. This will definitely help you to come out of your shell and gain more confidence.
Allows you to learn a new craft
If there’s something that you’ve always wanted to try, whether it is teaching or learning a foreign language, your gap year is a great time to give it a go and broaden your horizons.
Increased job satisfaction
Worrying about job satisfaction might not necessarily be the first priority when starting university but it is a big deal. Once you are done with your studies and join the working world, this is where you will spend most of your time.
So, having a job and a career that you will actually love will make your life much more meaningful.
Hence, taking some quality time to find a career that matches your skills, talents, and passion is important.
Building experience and education around it is also important and might make all the difference later in life.
Be more financially aware
A gap year can teach you how to become an expert at keeping an eye on expenses, saving and allocating money to different activities, especially when you will be travelling the world.
Knowing how to handle money and budgets makes being an adult much easier – and it’s a crucial skill that becomes so much more fun to perfect while exploring the world.
It’ll make your resume look pretty interesting
A gap year can provide a person with valuable new skills that any employer will be impressed by. Volunteering, cultural awareness, organisation, and an ability to work independently are just some of the skills that are gained by taking a gap year.
It is a great way to learn
Taking a year out will provide you with much more than any classroom setting ever can. As much as we can learn a lot in the classroom, the only time we really understand what is going on in the real world is when we put it into practice.
So, if you do decide on taking a gap year, remember that sometimes an experience during a gap year can knock you a bit but you’ll learn just how much you can deal with when you really have to, but you’re bound to learn a lot!