After 18 years in a classroom, you might be ready for a break. Taking a gap year between high school and college gives you an opportunity to recharge your batteries, whether you work, volunteer, or travel the globe, taking time away from school could give you a fresh sense of purpose.
Of course, there are also gap year disadvantages you should know about. Before committing, make sure to consider all the gap year pros and cons.
Advantage: It’ll make your CV look pretty snazzy
A gap year can provide a person with valuable new skills that any employer will be impressed by. Cultural awareness, organization, and an ability to work independently are just some of the skills that are gained by taking a year out.
Disadvantage: You’ll be a year behind
This can be a tough one for many people. They wave as their friends all trek to college and start their new lives and they are left behind. They can’t start their new adventure yet because they don’t have the cash. This is easily offset by working hard and saving cash quickly in order to jet off as soon as possible.
Advantage: You’ll meet new people
On a gap year it’s impossible not to meet new people. Throughout school and college we are surrounded by the same people but taking a gap year allows us to discover others, make new friends, and interact with people from all walks of life.
Disadvantage: You’ll be homesick
It’s something that hits most of us at some point. Whether you’re missing family, friends or simply home comforts, you may find yourself wondering why you chose a life on the road (if you chose to travel for your gap year). But fear not! The joy of travel is that there is always somebody to meet and something to do. Power through and you’ll be glad you did.
Advantage: You’ll have tons of stories
After spending a year away, the stories will mount up; these can be great conversation starters in the interview room, at parties or, simply just to look back on and remember.
Disadvantage: It’s a risk
Sure, it is! But where do we get in life if we aren’t willing to take risks? This is what makes a gap year so exciting; not knowing what to expect is all part of the adventure. The key is to take care and travel with common sense. Fun fact: I’ve yet to meet a gap year traveler or career breaker who “regretted” their decision to hit the road.
Advantage: It’s a long escape from the daily grind
A gap year, for most people, is the period of non-traditional life that you’ll ever have. It is often a once in a lifetime experience and the chance to escape the daily grind. However, if planned right, it will also be an educational opportunity of growth and other benefits and not just a “vacation” or year off. A gap year should be a year on.
Disadvantage: It can be expensive
This depends on the destination and the duration of the trip but, chances are, when taking a gap year, you’re going to spend quite a bit of cash. The best way to fund a gap year is to work and travel at the same time. It’s also a good idea to plan trips independently as this will cut costs dramatically – for the first-time traveler this may be a little difficult and paying extra for the help of someone to do it for you might be a good idea.