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Advantages & Disadvantages of a Gap Year.

After about 18 years in a classroom, you are probably ready for a well-needed break. Taking a gap year of experiential learning between high school and college gives you the perfect opportunity to recharge your batteries and giving enough time to consider your next steps; whether you decide to work, volunteer or travel the globe, taking time away from school could give you a fresh sense of purpose.

However, it is important to take a look at gap year advantages and disadvantages before committing in order to make sure that you have taken into consideration of all the gap year pros and cons:

Advantage: A gap year will make your CV look pretty spectacular;

A gap year can provide a person with valuable new skills that any employer will be impressed by. For example, cultural awareness, organization, and an ability to work independently are just some of the skills that are gained by taking a year out.

Disadvantage: Finding a job during a gap year may not work in your favour;

You might find yourself in a difficult space in applying for jobs whereby employers often hire people who are either studying or have a relevant degree that relates to their business or can improve their business.

Advantage: If planned well, you can have a productive year;

Let us talk about it, you are probably looking to have this time set on focusing on other opportunities in life, rather than having an unproductive year where you are not gaining any new skills, constantly being dependent on everyone else and probably wasting valuable resources that the world is giving you! Do not miss out on your new adventure because they do not have the cash. This is easily an offset by working hard and saving cash quickly in order to jet off as soon as possible. If you plan ahead then you cannot be misled and have a wonderful year instead!

Disadvantage: You will be a year behind;

This can be a tough one for many people. As you wave your friends off to college/university and see them start their new lives, are you prepared to be left behind? Do you completely understand that your conversations may not be the same – topics about assignments might not exactly be relatable when you have decided to trek down your path?

Advantage: You will meet new people;

On a gap year it is 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 will probably be homesick;

Eventually, every person is going to be away from home for their first time but being homesick is something that impacts most of us at some point. Whether you are missing family, friends or simply home comforts, you may find yourself questioning as to why you chose a life on the road (if you chose to travel for your gap year) or if it was worth it all to miss out on college/university. But fear not! The joy of travel is that there is always somebody to meet and something to do. Power through and you will be glad you that you took a gap year.

Advantage: You will have tons of stories to share;

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: A gap year is a risk;

Do you that a gap year can also present the best learning experience on how to deal with the uncertainty of life? Of course, it is! But where do we get in life if we are not 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 am yet to meet a gap year traveller or career breaker who “regretted” their decision to hit the road.

Advantage: It is a long escape from the daily grind;

A gap year, for most people, is the period for the non-traditional life that you will 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 are going to spend quite a bit of cash. The best way to fund a gap year is to work and travel or at least study while travelling and perhaps you can earn financial sponsors from companies, colleges/universities, family, friends and other generous people to support your education and travelling expenses at the same time. It is also a good idea to plan trips independently as this will cut costs dramatically – for the first-time traveller this may be a little difficult and paying extra for the help of someone to do it for you might be a good idea.

What College Can I Study At During My Gap Year?

At Eskilz College, we are neither encouraging nor discouraging an idea of a gap year but rather giving advantages and disadvantages so that you can make your choice as you do your own research if a gap is for you or not.

However, if you have decided to take a gap year – we understand the need for a gap year and that is why we provide online accredited courses that you can complete anywhere and at your own pace! If it is in your best interest, you can check out the Eskilz College website and choose the perfect course for you!

Written by Sthembokuhle Ndlovu

For more information contact info@eskilzcollege.co.za or call 010 03000 80.

Check out our popular webinar schedule or download our R650 course list

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