When you finish school, you might think about going to university or college. This is what many people do once they finish school. This could be part of your plan, but you might decide you’re not quite ready yet. You may want to postpone your university experience by a year and instead take a gap year.
Gap years can be an important, life-affirming experience. It may shape your future as a person and give you a fresh outlook on life. Here are some fantastic reasons why you might want to consider taking a gap year when you have the chance.
Get Out of a Rut
You might find that your life is in a rut. Perhaps you’re disillusioned with your current lot in life. Maybe you have grown tired of your career. You might be burnt out and feel it’s time for a change. It could even be that you are fresh out of education, and your friends are all off to university. You might be sick and tired of your hometown and the same old routine. You might think that it’s time for a change. It could be time to get out of the rut. Time to put your hometown in the rear view mirror and get out into the world. Taking a gap year could change your whole entire outlook on life and leave you refreshed and revitalised.
One of the best reasons to take a gap year is to be able to earn money. You might be planning to go to college or university following your gap year. But the advantage of taking a year out is that you can work. You might even be able to earn enough money that you can pay your way through university without a loan. You don’t even have to go abroad to do this. You could stay home the whole time and work a job for a year. Living with your parents will allow you to save a lot of money while you work. Even if you choose to go abroad, you might still find the cheaper lifestyle allows you to save.
Volunteer to Help Those Less Fortunate
A great reason to take a gap year is to take the opportunity to help those less fortunate. You might think about volunteering for a year in another country. You might find yourself in a position to help people in a worse situation than you. Perhaps you could think about volunteering through The Leap to take a year in Africa to help with the building of schools or water sources. This provides an invaluable service to locals and can help improve their lives. There aren’t many things more honourable than helping those less fortunate. This gap year could be an important part of your development as a person and show you the value of helping others.
Broaden Your Horizons
A fantastic reason you should take a gap year is to broaden your horizons. They say that travel broadens the mind. You may come from a small, one-horse town in the middle of nowhere. Perhaps you’re from the Midwest United States or the rural Scottish Highlands. You may never have been out of your town your whole life. Maybe you have dreamt of a wider world full of excitement and opportunity. If so then a gap year is the perfect excuse to broaden your horizons. You can hop on a plane and leave the familiarity of your hometown behind you. You will experience new cultures, customs and may make new friends in the process.
Enhance Your CV
One of the perks of taking a gap year is that it affords you the opportunity to enhance your CV. You have a wealth of options at your fingertips when you take a gap year. You can go anywhere and do almost anything. You could visit Australia and work as a trainee dolphin trainer. You could work in the paddy fields of Asia. Or you might even do something a little more ubiquitous like study abroad. Whatever you decide to do having a gap year on your resume is attractive to prospective employers. It shows passion, dedication and ambition. The experience you pick up during your year out can be vital in helping you with later career prospects.
You need to remember that time is so short these days. When you are a kid, the time seems to move so slowly, and it seems you have eternity left. As you get older time seems to move more quickly. This is even more true once you begin to develop responsibilities such as work and relationships. You shouldn’t put off something you can today until tomorrow. Act as though there is no tomorrow. Take opportunities as soon as they are available. It is easy to put off the idea of a gap year and decide you’ll do it another time. But that time might never come. You should take the opportunity today in case you never get it again.
Can Be Cheaper Than Staying at Home
While you travel during your gap year, you may find that it works out to be cheaper than staying at home. A good reason to not go travelling is often that it’s too expensive. But with a gap year this is much less of an issue. Travel can be much cheaper than you imagine it to be. You might just need to budget your finances better. You may even think about getting a job while you are on your gap year in which case it’ll be even cheaper. Many areas of the world, such as Asia, can be cheap to travel and live. They will often work out cheaper than staying at home. A lot of the time, this will be because of a more powerful currency exchange.
The University of Life
One of the most important things, when you hit adolescence, is to have life experience. These days that can be as important as your employment qualifications. A lot of employers like to hire people with life experience. Taking a gap year broadens your horizons. You get to experience new customs and cultures. And you will need to get used to accepting a different way of life. It might also show you what is important and of value in your life. These experiences may also determine what you might decide you want to do with your life. You may become more patient, understanding and accepting, and become a better person as a result.