I had never thought of taking a gap year until about a month ago when a representative from Project Trust came to speak to my school. He told us about all of the opportunities that the organisation offered and how valuable and fun a gap year can be. However, after some deliberation I have come to the conclusion that I am not going to take a gap year because I know what course I want to do (Primary Education) and I am certain that this is the career that I would like to go into.
For anyone who is unsure about taking a gap year before uni, I have made a list of the pros and cons of them so hopefully this will help you out.
- You will be prepared for university
- It’s probably the longest ‘holiday’ you will ever be able to take in your life – taking long breaks will be harder once your career starts
- You will learn new skills
- Volunteering gives you the opportunity to help people
- You can get ahead on preparations for your course
- If you didn’t get the grades in one of your A-levels, you can retake it and reapply while using the rest of your time to do something else
- You can go travelling and see the world whilst you’re still young
- You can become part of a community and make memories that you will never forget
- You will build your confidence, share your skills and learn more about the world
- You can learn more about yourself and challenge yourself to push boundaries and limit
- It will allow you to learn more about the country that you’re living in, including the different social expectations, norms and beliefs to help you to understand more about the diversity of society that exists today
- You will become more independent, self-reliant and mature afterwards
- It could be expensive
- You may not focus well enough when you return
- You may miss you friends and family (if you’re away for an entire year with no contact)
- If you’ve got a university offer and haven’t already agreed to defer your place, you could be putting your place at risk
- If you don’t get organised, you may end up spending your gap doing nothing but watching TV. Not great for the CV!
- You may have to fundraise for it, which could take time out of you revising for your exams and you may not achieve your full potential
- You may not go back to uni when you return
Taking a gap year is a personal choice and it does look amazing what you can do, but I am not taking one because I know what I want to be. However, if you’re unsure they can be a great way to discover more about yourself and give you time to think about what you want to do.