“A gap year (also known as year abroad, year out, year off, deferred year, bridging year, time off, and time out) is a year during which students take time off and engage in activities other than schooling, such as travel or work. The gap year is most commonly taken after secondary school and before starting university. However, over recent years there has been an increase in 21-23 year olds taking a gap year after completing their degree.”
As a 21-year-old, I embarked on my gap year before starting my Master’s program. Although I technically haven’t graduated from my university yet, I decided to take a break from my studies because I wasn’t ready to commit to a Master’s degree that could potentially dictate my future career for the rest of my life. At the University of Manchester (UoM), we finish our final year in June, but we don’t officially graduate until November or December. So, I’m still a UoM student, just without the workload and classes!
Some might argue that taking a gap year is just a way to put off real-life responsibilities or studies. However, many young people view it as an opportunity to explore new places, experiences, and develop a better understanding of themselves before settling down into their careers.
Here are four benefits of taking a gap year:
1) Broadening your horizon
Whether you choose to spend your gap year in your hometown or abroad, the experiences you gain will stay with you for the rest of your life. Remember that experiences are not limited by location but by the imagination. Make the most of wherever you are and be open to learning and growing.
2) Mapping out your life
At 21, it’s natural not to have your entire life planned out. Taking a gap year allows you the time to reflect on your goals and interests before investing in a Master’s degree or entering the workforce. This way, you can make more informed decisions about your future.
3) Finding yourself
During your gap year, you have the freedom to redefine yourself and explore new interests. This time away from the expectations and assumptions of others can be invaluable in helping you discover your passions and strengths.
4) Enhancing Your Resume
Whether you travel, work, or volunteer during your gap year, you can leverage these experiences to showcase valuable skills and accomplishments on your resume. Highlight how your gap year experiences have contributed to your personal and professional growth.
What Do You Think?
A gap year can be an excellent opportunity to travel, work, learn new skills, or languages. Ultimately, the choice is yours. Let us know in the comments below what you plan to do during your gap year and how you think it will benefit you in the long run!
im 23 and a junior in uni. i took a gap year and did finishing school instead. at that time i wasn’t happy but now when i look back I’m happy i did it, because that year helped me to figure out what i want to do with my life and made me chose my major which is psychology now. and it helped me with daily skills of life how to cook, clean dishes and ironing and so on so when i moved in my 1st apartment i felt more confident living by myself :)
I was working part to nearly full time since I got out of high school and would attend community college every semester for almost 7 years (finally getting my AA in Child Development and undergrad work done) but after 2 months at San Francisco State University, I realized I needed time to figure out if teaching was really what I wanted to do. Plus I wasn’t working and really hated depending on my mom for money (I’m 26!). So I’m currently not in school for the first time in FOREVER and its whatever. Sometimes I miss the learning and the social stuff, but I have time to go running on the beach and do yoga (plus its not like my social life died). I realize I do want to teach, but want to save money before I go back. So consider me an SFSU student fall 2013! And until then…. ima do me.
I wanetd my son then 8 to experience more of the world, so I took him to thailand for 3 weeks so he could see how children in other countries get by without being given everything. He loved it, and we have already booked to extend this to the whole 6 weeks of the summer holiday .he will be almost 10 and get to spend most of the time at Father Rays school for disabled and street children .so with children of his own age but of a completly different background.He will certainly come back with his eyes and mind more open and it wont take a year to do it.RegardsWarren