A recent study found gap year students that traveled were more focused, had higher grades and got the most out of their education. Plus, it’s really fun to get out there and blow off that high school angst before settling into a four to eight year (and in some cases even more) commitment of studying and getting down to business. A gap year can be a real eye opener before it’s time to adult. And take it from me… adulting sucks.
So Why Take a Gap Year?
It can show you an alternative path
Even those who have set plans find themselves re-routing them as they change and grow. Taking a gap year can help you decide if you really want to pursue that career in law, or whether you might find a passion for something completely different!
Without that safety net of school, you are forced to be brave and do things for yourself. This can help you make long-lasting friendships, and gives you confidence to try new things.
It might be the best time
With few financial burdens and minimal responsibilities, this is the best time to travel. It shows what is important to you, whilst giving you lessons that can apply to your everyday life.
You’ll learn not everything goes to plan.
A year away can show you that things go wrong and that you might have to take initiative if you want to succeed. Whether you have your belongings stolen or can’t afford to travel to the next place, every experience is a valuable one.
Learn what you really need.
Many decide to backpack their way around a country. This is a fantastic way of learning how much stuff you really ‘need’ in life, while it gives you the ability to problem solve under pressure. Don’t forget to take out things like backpacker insurance, and to always stay somewhere safe.
You’ll know what’s really important.
A year away from school can be a shock, but seeing other ways of life can help you see what is really important in the grand scheme of things.
You’ll learn to budget.
Earning a bit of money and traveling can give you the invaluable ability to budget, something that will always stay with you.
Make of most of your education.
Time off gives you the chance to mature and grow. As we get older we become better at making decisions based on the experiences we’ve had. The more experiences we have, the more we learn. Those that go into education later in life tend to appreciate it more.
Help you in your future career.
Far from being a hindrance, a gap year can be a boost to your CV and the knowledge you learned during it can be added to your skills.
Many people regret not traveling in their youth. If you are in a position where you can, and have the opportunity see something new, it is better to go for it than to live with regrets.
The gap year isn’t for everyone. Getting back into an academic routine after time away can be difficult with a lot of practicalities to consider, like financing any trips or finding work. However, those with a sense of adventure, find that it was the best thing they ever did!