Now, taking a gap year is not really a topic which a 23 years old student is going through anymore because at this time of your life you are probably chasing your dreams and try to build your career. Most of the time the gap year is between your high school graduation and your university days. However, I decided to still talk about this because I know a lot of people who are regretting it, that they didn’t take a year out and furthermore, I just had an interesting conversation with my beloved, little cousin, who is going to graduate from high school in 2 1/2 years. Even though there is still time for him, I just asked him if he wants to take a year off as I did, and he answered that his parents wouldn’t want that. Right then after hearing this I got a flashback to my time after high school graduation. Oh, I remember it precisely that doing a gap year was a massive thing in my family as well…
Nowadays society expect from us to graduate so quick, then go straight to uni, graduate there even faster with their shorten studies time, so that you have to study more in one semester so that you can graduate even earlier! It is all about the faster, the higher, the better!
The problem about this is that a lot of pupils do not even know what they want to do with their life yet. Also, school does not explain you the real important things in life. They just teach you the fundamentals, which of course you do need but there is so much to learn outside of the school walls. A hilarious professor of mine once said, that he sometimes has the feeling he is teaching children because some students are still so young when they start studying. Due to that reason, there a plenty of students, who are breaking up with their studies or they are swapping into new major several time.
If you take a year off, you can grow through so many variable experiences through that year, and there are so many ways to create that particular time. Doing an internship, work and travel, charity work like building a school or teaching your mother tongue language (I would love to do this charity work once in my lifetime!), or like I did: a language school abroad. Please just don’t lazy around and do nothing or just go on holiday. You will absolutely don’t know how to explain yourself later in an interview what you did and gained for experiences through that year!
Besides, having more time to find out what you really want in life, your personality and social skills will also increase as well. If you are moving abroad, you have to learn to adapt, because there will be definitely not anything like at home. Moreover, you will become more flexible, because you have to learn how to live by yourself and how to integrate into a new society, a new language and maybe even a new culture.
A lot of pupils are afraid that they have a gap in their resume, but what they forget is that moving abroad will teach you valuable international experiences and no one will resent you because of that gap when you can do business with customers from different cultures because you already experienced them by yourself.
Or have you been “sleeping” through every English class like me? (Haha, I was sitting in the front row, so there was no chance of sleeping in class, but my English was really bad though back then.) You maybe want to know more about history or art? A gap year is your time to refine those specific skills you feel like you lack. When it is a language, head over to that country for improving your language skills. If you are curious about history, do a tour through several countries if you want to learn more about the old times.
Along with those aspects, the most valuable experience through your gap year is the friendships you make. I recently just met one of my good friends from Argentina, who I know through my London time. It has been four years now, and I just got reminded how much those international friendships mean to me. Their unique perspectives on life will hugely enrich yours as you compare all the major events that happen in your teenage years, the early 20s and beyond!
Besides these reasons, I mean when else are you going to be a teenager with no job, mortgages, payments, kids, or responsibilities to worry about? Never. Like really NEVER!
So take the chance, do yourself a favour, take that gap year and have the time of your life!
Just in case when you are wondering why all the photos today look like a private photo album and why I am looking so young in them, these are all photos from my gap year time.
Have you done a gap year, and would you recommend it as well?