What is a Gap Year? (Should You Should Take One?)

If you have not decided what you want to study after graduating from high school, you may take a year break to try and choose your future profession.

Such a break is called a gap year.

What is a gap year?

The transition from school to university is perhaps the most important moment in life, which determines the whole future perspective.

However, it is often very difficult to make a choice for a future profession, and in fact an erroneous choice means a lack of interest in learning, a waste of time and money.

To prevent this, those school graduates who have not yet decided on the direction of further education can take an additional year to prepare and get acquainted with the future profession.

This is called a gap year. This will allow you to better know yourself and your abilities, understand what you would like to do in life, and in what direction to move further.

What to do during your gap year?

During your gap year, you can do different things, some of them include:

  • Travel – many young people travel during their gap year. They go to another country, getting acquainted with other cultures and customs. Often such trips are combined with the study of a foreign language. The presence of such an item in the resume is a plus – this is evidence of the maturity, independence, curiosity, and breadth of horizons.
  • Volunteering – participation in charitable projects both in your country and abroad. This is a very positive point in the resume as well, indicating a socially active life position, maturity, independence, and the desire to be useful to society. This is also work experience. In the United States, the experience of working as a volunteer is considered even higher than academic performance.
  • Employment – job practice in the direction of future education. Such a fact in the resume is very valuable and will show that you’re familiar with the future profession in the most direct and practical way. A gap year organized in this way will minimize the risks of erroneous career guidance and the wrong choice of the direction of study at the university.
  • Study – the school program has little in common with the university program. The largest drop-out of students is in the first year because first-year students cannot or don’t have time to adjust to the requirements and style of study at the university. In most cases, they are simply not ready for the degree of independence and self-organization that is required from the student. An academic gap year will help adapt without stress to new demands and ways of life, bring school knowledge closer to university, and, consequently, improve academic performance after the beginning of studies at the university.

Benefits of the gap year

According to https://fireessay.com/, in the USA, Norway, Turkey, and Denmark, more than half of school graduates take an annual break in their studies before starting their studies at the university. At the age of 17–18 without any experience of independent life, it is very difficult to make an informed choice of further profession.

There are even special funds that pay for the Gap Year programs. Both employers and admission commissions of universities consider the break between school and the beginning of education in the university as a plus, not a minus.

After all, this means that the choice of the direction of education was made consciously, and not accidentally.

For the year of the break, a student became an adult and an independent person, he got the experience of adult life and seriously thought about his future.

The advantages of such a pause pay off all possible risks – after a gap year, students have more confident results in their studies, as they understand themselves and their goals better, they have the necessary skills and more specifically represent their future profession.

And most importantly, they understand what they want to do before the beginning of studies at the university, and they know which academic disciplines are most interesting.