7 Pros & Cons of Taking a Gap Year

So, you’ve been working as hard as you can to pass finals and survive the last year of high school, now what? Graduating from school is a big event for each of us that we are looking forward to throughout many years. But, when it finally happens, most of us have absolutely no clue what to do next.

Now, you have two major options – to enroll in university or college right away or to take a gap year. While most people tend to choose a “safe,” time-tested option, there are also those who seriously consider taking a break.

If you belong to the second category of people, right now you are probably wondering what are the main pros and cons of making a pause. So, let’s see what is in it for you!

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Pro: You Will Learn Lots of Vital Lessons

Though many think about a gap year as a waste of time, it’s really not that. The thing is that even if you decide to pause your studies, you still will continue learning. And what is more, you will be able to learn things and lessons that are not taught in a classroom.

Needless to say that doing the same while at college is extremely hard. Of course, you can always ask around “who will do my homework” and find a reliable homework assistant to save time for experiences. But, still, taking a break will give you more opportunities for chasing new experiences and learning vital lessons.

Namely, during this time, you can devote time to traveling, gaining real-world skills, trying different jobs to see what suits you, discovering your personality, and chasing other great experiences.

Con: You Are Putting Your Studies on Hold

Obviously, the biggest disadvantage of a gap year is that it basically means “pausing” your education.

What does this mean in practice? Simply put, this means delaying your graduation. Unlike your peers who decide to continue education right after school, you will complete your degree with a delay, which also means that you will start your career later too. However, it probably won’t be too big of a deal if you use this time to your maximum benefit.

Pro: You Will Get Lots of Rest

No one will argue with the fact that studying is extremely hard and energy-consuming. While going through the final years in school, you will likely face lots of challenges, including an intensive workload, preparation for finals, stress of admissions, and much more. And all these stresses can make you feel absolutely drained by the time you graduate.

However, if you don’t go straight to college after graduation, you won’t be thinking about how to cope with all your academics and survive. Instead, you will be able to take your time to rest after stressful high school studies and restore your energy. This, of course, will help you ensure better well-being while at college. And, in fact, it can also positively influence your academic performance.

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Con: There’s a Risk to Waste Plenty of Time

If you think about it, there are plenty of things a person can accomplish in just a year. For example, you could learn a new language or master the basics of Web development. Also, you could visit at least a dozen countries and significantly expand your horizons. After all, you could devote this time to working and saving money for the future or taking care of your body and health.

Sounds like a great idea, doesn’t it? Yes, it really does. But, there is also another side of the coin – when there is a chance to do lots of things, there is also the same chance of doing literally nothing. By saying this, we mean that if you don’t use your gap year wisely, it will turn out to be a huge waste of time. And there is always this risk.

Pro: It Can Make Your Future Resume Stand Out

Have you ever wondered why people who are fresh from college typically have very mediocre resumes that literally give them zero competitive advantage? The biggest problem here is that most students just can’t combine their college studies with anything else. That is, they are developing neither personally nor professionally while studying.

Here comes another benefit of taking a gap year. During it, you can devote all your time to extracurriculars, sports, personal growth, and professional development too. And all of this will definitely look good on a resume.

Con: It Can Get Expensive

When we talk about taking a gap year, many young people imagine an entire year of journeys, unique experiences, and fun activities. Needless to say that such a lifestyle can get pretty expensive and this is another drawback of this decision.

Of course, you may have savings, your parents may give you some financial support, or, after all, you can always find a job to pay for those experiences. But, be sure you are ready for this.

Pro: It Helps You Become More Mature

Finally, one more benefit of taking a break is that it will help you develop a whole range of new and crucial personal traits. And, most importantly, it will help you to become more mature, responsible, and capable of taking charge of your decisions and life in general.

Needless to say that such a high level of maturity and independence will work to your benefit not only in college but in your future career and life too!

The Bottom Line

So, should you seriously consider taking a gap year or not? As you now know, there are both pros and cons of it. Thus, the only wise solution is to choose what feels right for you.

Hopefully, this article will help you assess all the perks and drawbacks that are there. Now, all that is left for you to do is to decide how you can make the best use of this time – inside a classroom or out in the world.

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