Pros and Cons of a Gap Year

Pros and Cons of a Gap Year

More senior students are considering a gap year than ever before. Taking a break in study in between your senior schooling and further study such as TAFE or university can seem tempting, but is it a good idea? Following are some pros and cons to consider.

Pros

  • Make goals clearer – unsure as to what career to pursue or how to go about it? A gap year can make your future goals seem clearer and how you can achieve them. Time can be spent researching and talking to people to get a better understanding for you.
  • The longest holiday – for most people, this is the longest holiday you will take until you reach retirement. If you have the resources to take a 12-month holiday, why not?
  • Earn some money – even if living at home with your parents, further study can be expensive. A gap year gives you the opportunity to work full time and save some money to go towards study costs, rent, a car and other expenses.
  • Learn new skills – by working as an intern or full time employee, you will learn new skills which can assist with your study and future job search.
  • Experience life away from home – for some students, they will need to move for further study. The stress of moving out of home combined with study can be too much. A gap year will give you the chance to experience what it is like to live away form home and how to be independent.
  • Gain life experience – volunteering or travelling can give you a life experience, which can assist you with your motivation for study and to pursue your career.
  • Boost your entry opportunities – a gap year can provide the opportunity to repeat a subject or give you the time to take a short course to boost your entry opportunity.

Cons

  • Less motivated for study – returning to study can be hard when you are out of the habit.
  • Can be expensive – travelling around the world sounds fantastic, but passports, visas, accommodation, vaccinations and tours are expensive.
  • Miss out on your place – you might be offered a placement at university but not all places and offers can be deferred. You might then not be offered a place when you return from the gap year.
  • End up doing nothing – unless you plan ahead of time, you may not end up travelling or working and you spend a year sitting in front of the TV.
  • Career delay – some careers require a long study period and starting a year later may not necessarily the best for your future.
  • Wrong reason – are you taking a gap year for the best reason? If not for the right reason, it could simply be a waste of time.

There is no definitive answer as to whether a gap year is a good idea – only you can decide if it’s right for you. The only clear answer is that you need to think carefully, do your research and plan.

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