What is a Gap Year and How to Take One?
Once in a while, any student might ask themselves questions like “should I take a gap year?” There comes a time in life when it is necessary to take a break, but when the holidays are no longer resolved, a gap year may be the solution. If you also want to get to know different countries and cultures, today, we will tell you what it is and how it is possible to organize it.
What is a Gap Year?
Let's discuss the gap year meaning. It is nothing more than the time set aside to slow down and do what you want. Let's say it is a career break period, and it can take a few months or a full year. This year can be dedicated to reflecting, having new experiences, or changing the lifestyle.
Taking a gap year, a person learns to manage personal matters, carry out projects, organize trips, or explore new languages. One can go for an exchange program abroad and visit different countries.
The break year's purpose is to make profound changes in your life or career, not just to take a short break before returning to everyday duties. People pick such an option after a long work period and when they need to rethink something, rest, take care of family members, or put a personal project into practice.
Many civil servants are entitled to unpaid leave and even premium leave (customarily paid) after a specified number of consecutive years of work.
Pros and Cons of a Gap Year
Is a gap year a good idea after all? Of course! Let's look at the apparent benefits of taking a gap year below.
- Ensuring Personal Growth
- The gap year gives you tools and experiences that contribute, on a large scale, to your personal development. Getting out of your comfort zone, using different gap year travelling programs, and putting yourself in situations that you could hardly face in your day-to-day life brings you more confidence, maturity, and greater emotional and financial independence.
- Development of Hard and Soft Skills
- We can hardly list all the skills you can gain in your gap year. Still, you can count on a boost in your autonomy, problem-solving ability, creativity, and communication. This is also the perfect moment to try out new areas and explore your professional interests. Don't be afraid of applying to college after gap year.
- Enhancing Knowledge About the World
- Living traditions firsthand and watching life across the ocean allows you to broaden your mind. You can look at the world from another perspective and gain a newfound respect for life.
- Improving Performance at Any Activity
- Taking a year off will help you approach your studies in a more efficient way. Using a break like this, you can disengage yourself from stress, exams, and school pressure and boost your focus, creativity, and motivation.
- Contributing to Your Employability
- Currently, companies are looking for more than skills and job experience; they seek the right personality and pay attention to the candidates’ time management abilities, adaptability, and cognitive flexibility. Differentiation is the keyword in the job market. So, you won’t have any gap in resume after graduation.
- Getting the Time to Know Yourself
- How do you stop overthinking? Do you analyze your actions or think about the path you are taking? The gap year allows you to reflect on your qualities, relationships, and other things that are truly important to you.
Read on and consider the cons as well.
- The most common reason why people doubt whether taking a break from college is good is money. Travelling is not always cheap, which can lead to some financial constraints later. Besides, you will be "late" compared to your schoolmates or colleagues when taking one of the gap year options. What does it mean? You may have to spend more time to reach the income that your colleagues have. This way, you may also become the oldest in your class, although if we are talking about college, nobody will notice that.
- Taking a gap year can have some serious impact on your mental health, and you will return to your study or work with renewed vigor. However, if you have had unsatisfying gap year experiences, you may end up losing your pace or motivation. It would help if you had enough time before getting back to your old routine. For instance, about 12% of gappers decide not to keep studying afterward.
- Finally, if you want to take a gap year, you have to do significant planning and gain financial stability first. Keep in mind that even travelling can become boring.
These are the main issues to bear in mind when you know what a gap year is and are considering taking one.