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Taking a gap year: The pros and cons

All people are different. Some like to jump straight into tertiary study after finishing high school, whereas others might want to start working immediately. Perhaps they want to travel or maybe they have no idea what they are going to do.

Taking a gap year can be a fantastic option but there is no denying that it comes with a unique set of pros and cons. We’ve had a look at the best and worst aspects of spending a year away from the books.

Pros

Gain experience

Life experience is something that cannot be taught in the classroom. This could come in the form of traditional work experience or from travelling the world, visiting different countries and experiencing different cultures.

Revitalise

It is a good chance to take a step away after 13 years of schooling and draw breath. A year without the pressures of assignments and exams might be just the tonic required to hit your straps when you decide to go back to university.  

Make new friends

Travelling the world exposes you to new people, as does full-time employment. Regardless of what path you choose to embark on during your gap year, you are likely to form new friendships along the way.

Cons

Getting side-tracked

It’s easy to forget all about university when you are working full-time or travelling around the world. A gap year can become gap years before you know it, so remember that if you want a career that requires tertiary study, you will need to get qualified at some point.  

Financial strain

Obviously, this doesn’t apply to those working instead of studying but for the travel enthusiasts, a gap year can fast become incredibly expensive. Budgeting might not sound like much fun but it’s better than being broke.

Wasted time

The opportunities might seem endless when planning what you’re going to do during a gap year but it’s important to ensure you make the most of it. Travel, work, live, don’t just use the 12 months as an opportunity to sit around and do nothing.