Should you take a Gap Year?
“Decisions made in haste will be repented of in leisure.” So goes an old adage inferring that we’ll have to live with the consequences of our decisions for a long time. Some of the biggest decisions we have to make include what career to pursue and what courses to study. The problem is, these decisions come rather early in life. After high school, some young adults find themselves still unsure of which direction to take.
More and more students want to avoid paying money for programs they end up disliking or having no interest in. Some feel they’re not ready to tackle the next level of learning. Taking a gap year, or a year off between high school and college, gives you time to consider your options and to get to know yourself, without comparing your goals or abilities with your peers.
Why taking a gap year can make sense
It might seem like a terrifying option to consider, but taking a gap year can make a lot of sense. Let’s take a look at some of these reasons below –
- It may be true that you had your high school years to mull over your choices, but for many, those years were spent dealing with the challenges of growing up and getting through homework. Thus, not giving them the time or chance to find a fixed career path.
- On top of that, the confusing array of program choices and the financial challenge of paying for tuition and living expenses at college or university are also things that can deter some students from starting college right away.
- The above considerations aside, taking a gap year can also give you the time to recharge and refocus so you can actually take up a course that’s meant for you.
- A gap year can also give you the chance to travel or take up shorter programs abroad, which can prove to be beneficial in finding your direction and advancing your career.
How you should approach a gap year
Before you jump on the gap year bandwagon, it’s important to consider it from all angles. The following approach can help you take a gap year in the right away –
- Have a plan
Experts advise having a strategic plan so that a gap year isn’t spent earning some extra spending cash and sleeping in. Wasting a year in the prime of your life is not the desired outcome of a gap year. It should be used to save up your resources, perhaps investing enough money to live independently when you do go away to school.
- Use the time to get a job
If you’ll be using a gap year to work full-time and save money, it’s best to secure a job before graduation, to avoid competing with hundreds of other young people looking for summer work. This will ensure you have employment lined up before you’re overtaken by the temptation to take it easy or to take the summer off. Use a secure method to save the majority of your funds, such as a tax-free savings account.
Wondering how to save your money in a gap year? There are many money management tips that can come in handy.
- Travel but responsibly
If you’ll be using a gap year to travel, instead of aimless galavanting, make plans to get involved in a variety of cultural or volunteer activities. Learning about other lands and their people adds to your knowledge and experience. A gap year should help you make sure you’re heading in the right direction, and expanding your horizons can help you accomplish this.
All said and done, you might still be wondering – is a gap year just for indecisive youths who want a break? Not at all. Heading off to school will cost you a few grand. Taking time to grow up is priceless. Each person is different and deals with decisions in their own way. Some are decisive and confident. Others need time to think it through. If you’re among the latter, taking a gap year could be the best decision you’ll make.
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