Is taking a gap year really worth it?

“Gap year” is that 1 year timeframe where students take a break after completing school to travel, take up a vocational course or even pick up an internship! This term, although popular in western countries, has the potential to invoke responses that range from “being indifferent” to “having a full-fledged battle in some households” – especially in India.

Usually a student takes a gap year for two reasons:

1) He or she is completely exhausted due to extensive school years.

2) He or she wants to take some time off to understand where their interests lie and plan the future accordingly.

And it is a fact that taking a gap year is not for everyone but it still might do wonders for some students. You will agree the debate on “whether or not should one take a gap year” has been going on for a long time which is why it is all the more necessary to analyse the pros and cons of the same.

Have a look:

 PROS

 1. Adds to the experience

Whatever you do in that gap year prepares you better for the University – both academically and socially. People who take a gap year always quip that their family and friends have noticed how much they have changed when they return! A gap year introduces you to so many ideas, cultures and people that it is impossible to stay the same.

 2. It’s a really long holiday

 It will definitely be your longest holiday ever because soon after that you will get sucked into the rigours of dealing with University and then work life!

3. Earning money is possible

You can have a working gap year. You can choose to work at a local school or a radio station to earn for accommodation and food wherever you are.

4. Acquire new skills in the process

Your skill set could range from speaking a new language or learning to rev up a dead car engine. It can be anything! By the way, this will also make your CV look more impressive!

5. Life away from home

There’s no doubt that you will become more independent while staying away from the comfort and luxuries of life! Battling home sickness becomes a lot easier when you are out there on your own – figuring out what you plan to do in the future.

6. Pushes you to meet new people

 Imagine the number of new people you will get to know and interact with in one year! If you are an introvert, then taking a gap year will only force you to come out of your comfort zone and socialize. After all, what’s the fun in being surrounded by the same set of faces and personalities?

7. Work on your aptitude

If you are not traveling or working somewhere in those 12 months, then utilize the time to get cracking on your competitive exams. Oust app offers a range of mental exercises that will enhance your verbal and logical reasoning and keep your mind agile.

To practice while on-the-move, download the app and finish modules diligently. Also, don’t forget to follow the official Facebook page as well.

 CONS

1. It’s expensive

 If you want to travel or be a part of an organized gap programme, then taking such a long off can be a super expensive affair! So get your finances in place.

2. Old friends would have moved on

 When you will come back to see your friends, there’s a high chance of them becoming your seniors at the University and having a different social circle altogether. That might make you feel isolated!

3. Getting back to studies is painful

 It is a little difficult to get into the serious study zone – especially after a 1 year-long break!

4. Being disorganized can be bad

 If you don’t plan those 12 months properly, you might just spend most of the gap year doing literally nothing and that’s not great for your CV.

5. Homesickness can always creep in

Yep. You might regret your decision to spend a year on road and away from family.

6. The break can be stressful!

Sorting out travel plans, scavenging for good internships or picking the right vocational course can be a frustrating process. And when your year doesn’t roll out to be how you wish – it is all the more stressful and of course, demotivating!

There’s no denying that spending time abroad will enhance your CV, make the young person learn valuable skills and ensure an experience of a life time. The advantages of a gap year can’t be touted enough! But a gap year is not for everyone and there are other things you must consider. So if you are thinking of taking a “break” – evaluate your situation before arriving at a decision.

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