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Re: Gap Year: Yay or Nay?

Another option is to settle down and do a year or study then take a gap year or 6 months depending on how flexible your course is.

First year uni for me was very different from year 12. I reckon after those 12 months I was much more mature. Or at least I think I was and hopefully still am. lol 


Re: Gap Year: Yay or Nay?

I'm gonna say for me personally no gap year, u have 3 months of holidays to chill !!! unless u have the $$ already to travel

Re: Gap Year: Yay or Nay?

I'm going to take a Gap year to travel and see the world. Also, trying to get my foot in the door at numerous places so I can see what I have to do to get there.


Re: Gap Year: Yay or Nay?

I'm surprised I haven't replied to this yet. For some perspective, I continued with study straight after high school and found myself bored and disinterested, even though I chose the course I wanted to study. I ended up dropping out and working for eight years. At the end of that time, I travelled abroad and worked in London for a couple of years, before taking a couple of months to cross Europe and Asia overland before heading back to Australia.

Now I work in a different career that I love and I am perpetually travelling the world — I was in Hong Kong for the first half of this year; I'm in Canada now until after New Years; Europe for 2013 & 2014.


I agree with the Pros, especially the one about life experience, so I'm going to address the Cons.


@snowflake-19 wrote:


  • It can be hard to motivate yourself during a gap year.
  • Might take longer to get into the career you want due to delaying studying
  • Hard to see your friends who are studying
  • Loss of direction


Hard to motivate: The key here is to at least have a basic plan before you start. It's not a gap year to laze about playing video games; it's a gap year to experience as much as you can in a year. Have a plan for what you want to see in that time. Make sure it includes things that are way outside your comfort zone. For most people, living in another country will be more than enough for that. Just having exciting/scary things to look forward to should help motivate you.


Might take longer to get into the career you want: Are you even sure that's the career you want? Being in the little bubble that high school creates can shield you from a lot of what the world has to offer; much more than you think. I've seen people who thought they wanted to study finance realise that teaching was for them instead. I have one friend that studied psychology, history and philosophy before ending up as a career racecar driver; another friend has a degree in english literature but is now going back to university to study nursing. In both cases, they each said they wished they could have done something else with the time they spent on those first degrees. "Like what?" "Like travelling." You learn more about yourself in a year of travelling than you can in three years of study.


Hard to see your friends who are studying: This isn't the case for everyone, but a lot of people I've spoken to in their mid-twenties are no longer in contact with their high school friends (apart from being FB friends). My point being that you'll make new friends. People's lives drift together and apart all the time; you just move in different directions. School kept you locked together every day for several years… now you're out on your own, it's not as forced anymore. Strong friendships will stay no matter what; weak ones will end naturally. It may be a bitter pill to swallow but it's not a bad thing; it's just how things go. Smiley Happy


Loss of direction: I think everybody's compass goes a bit weird when they first step out into the real world. Going to university straight away just delays that a bit by extending the classroom-oriented, strict, scheduled regimen for an extra few years. So, I'd argue that taking a gap year first actually helps you find that sense of direction sooner rather than later. Smiley Wink



You can do whatever you like for your gap year, of course, but I'd encourage travel if you can. A return ticket to Europe for an 18th birthday present (get everyone to chip in, not just your parents); work some basic temp jobs while you're there to fund your adventures; come home with some extra cash, a new understanding of the world, and a better idea of who you are and what you want to do with your life.


At least that's my perspective on things. Smiley Happy

Re: Gap Year: Yay or Nay?

Personally, I didn't take a gap year. I thought pretty seriously about it for a long time though - I didn't really like school for the last couple of years of high school, and I felt like I needed a break from studying, even if just for six months. I ended up going straight into my course though, and I'm kinda glad I did. Now I'm further into my course than I would have been, and if I need to I can just defer for a while then come back. I guess it's all up to personal preference Smiley Happy

Re: Gap Year: Yay or Nay?



I didn't take a gap yr, I went and studied a diploma instead. The work load was much less than yr 12, but it still gave me something to do, and I was learning SOMETHING whilst doing it. Also looks good to uni's. 


It was easy to fit in some part-time work, my hobbies and seeing friends. So win-win-win Smiley Happy Plus you can do a diploma in anything! And they're generally only 12 months, so not exactly a long-term commitment. 


That's my 2cents, hope it helps.


- J

Re: Gap Year: Yay or Nay?

I went to a boarding school and the idea of going to uni and doing an Arts degree was exciting enough for me when I left school (No jokes!). I ended up waiting until I was about 23 to have my 'gap' year of traveling thorugh Europe. It meant I was a bit older and had more money behind me. Theoretically I also had a degree so I should have been able to get better work in the UK, but I didn't end up using it really. I just worked as a temp.


I think everyone is different, and you should just go when you have the inclination (and the money!) and it feels right. At any age taking a gap year is going to be a big adventure! And who says you can't have more than one gap year anyway!? 





Re: Gap Year: Yay or Nay?

I took a gap year. I actually skipped year 8 in high school so I was a year younger than my classmates when I graduated. I figured I had a spare year up my sleeve to decide what I wanted to do, and I was a bit burnt out on schooling. I talked it over with my mum and she agreed that I had earned a year off to make some money and work out my next step.

I already had a part-time job at a supermarket so I started working some day shifts and earned enough money to go traveling in far north queensland with a friend. Then I did a "Music Industry Skills" TAFE certificate because I loved music but wasn't musically talented. It was fun but I learned nothing, and that was where I took up smoking cigarettes - to kill time with my classmates between lectures. Bummer.

At the end of the year I was no closer to working out what to do with my life so I applied for an Arts degree at Uni so I would have the opportunity to study a little bit of everything.
I loved my gap year, I earned a little money, I traveled a bit and I explored other study options but ultimately it gave me the preparation to take university seriously. I honestly don't know if I would've done it if I hadn't had that 'spare' year to play with.  I think it's a great option if you don't know what you want to do with your life and whether or not to pursue higher education. If you're one of those people who has always known what they want to be when they 'grow up' then there probably isn't much point, but I didn't know. I still don't know!

Re: Gap Year: Yay or Nay?

I didn't take a gap year just because I felt it would be really hard to get back into the swing of studying if I went away for 1 year. Saying that though I'm thinking of taking 6 months to a year off after I finish my course so that will end up being like a mini-gap year. 

I think most uni's are pretty flexible so you can take an intermission at any point and return to studing after a 6month-1 year break. I know at my uni if you make that decision before the census date (March 31st i think) you don't even need to pay for the year - so it's like a month long free trial period.