November 18, 2021
By the time you graduate from high school, you've been focused on your formal education for so long that you're completely burned out, and yet most students go straight from high school to university courses. It can be good to take a break from classes to recuperate. However, it is important to stay focused on your education, even if you are not spending that time in a high school or university classroom. This can be challenging, and we are reminded of the words of a very wise person, "Don't let school get in the way of your education." A gap year is becoming increasingly popular and can be a great alternative and opportunity for those who need a change of scenery with an abundance of growth and learning.
Taking a year off after high school can also give you the time and experience to make difficult decisions, such as deciding what you really want to study or what career you want to pursue. And that's just the beginning. Check out these 10 benefits of a gap year to have a fulfilling gap year!
We're not ranking the reasons, but this is definitely a favorite: a gap year can improve your academic performance. You'd think that traveling around the world for months would set you back in school, but you couldn't be more wrong - students who have taken a gap year have actually improved their grades. Taking time off, finding your career path, and returning to school refreshed, focused, and motivated can do wonders for performance.
Mastering another language is one of the best skills you can have: They basically give you superpowers by increasing your thinking ability, improving your employability, and boosting your confidence. Of course, you can only learn a language in school - but why not actually live the language? Immersing yourself in a new culture and speaking the language 24/7 while mingling with the locals and traveling the world is a surefire way to become fluent and reap all the benefits of being bilingual and studying abroad.
Students who have taken a gap year report higher job satisfaction. This may not be the first priority when starting a degree, but it's a big deal: once you're in the workforce, that's where you'll spend most of your time. So if you have a career and a job that makes you happy - even on Mondays - your life will be much more meaningful. It's important to take the time to find a career that matches your skills, passion and talents, and then build your experience and education around that, because it can make all the difference later in life.
We live in an interconnected world and chances are you will have to work with people from other countries. Being aware and accepting that things are done differently in other cultures is incredibly important and a skill that is best acquired when you actually explore foreign places. A gap year abroad helps you understand that we are all different yet the same, makes you more aware of your own place in the world, and gives you a new perspective on culture, languages, and people. Students who take a gap year know what it means to be a global citizen - and they have the experience to back it up.
It's a term that impresses parents and employers alike: financial awareness. Guess where to learn this skill? A gap year, that's where. If you have to manage a budget for six months while traveling the world, you have no choice but to become an expert in how to keep track of expenses, save in the right places, and use the money for different activities. Knowing how to manage money and budgets makes adulthood much easier - and it's a crucial skill that's much more fun to perfect while exploring the world.
Cross-cultural communication, problem-solving skills, adaptability - if there's a fancy-sounding soft skill, chances are you'll build and cultivate it during a gap year. Social skills and emotional intelligence are all the rage when it comes to employability: they look stunning on a resume, and the more of them you have, the more you'll stand out. By taking a gap year, you'll also gain (international) life experience, which you'll need when you apply for college or a job after graduation.
Some people worry that a gap year on their resume will affect their employability - au contraire, my friends. It just depends on how you market that gap: Twelve months spent volunteering in the U.S., interning in Barcelona, speaking fluent English and Spanish on the side, and acquiring a wealth of soft skills will make your resume stand out and be a great icebreaker for all those interviews you'll be having.
Depending on how old you are, you've been going to school for as long as you can remember. It's time for a break: academic burnout is a problem because students are under tremendous pressure to choose their careers and perform well in the classroom and in life. Many colleges and universities are aware of the threat of exhaustion and encourage students to take time off to figure out what they want to do, to gain specific skills that will help them in school and in their careers, and last but not least, to take time off where grades and deadlines don't matter. And that's just the beginning of the good news: 90 percent of students who take a gap year return to school with more motivation and enthusiasm.
It can be difficult to decide on a major, choose a career, and grow up - your twenties (and, let's face it, your thirties, too) are a time when so many things in your life are changing as you navigate a world that is changing at an incredible rate. It's a time when you have to make decisions that will affect a huge part of your life: Taking the time to figure out what will make you happy in the next 10 to 20 years can make all the difference. A gap year can help you try different things and learn or confirm what you (don't) want to do - provided you don't just aimlessly take time off, but make sure you know what you want to get out of your time off.
Hopefully during your gap year you will travel, explore the world and have adventures because it's a great chance to learn about yourself and the world while becoming a confident and awesome superhero who wins at life: it's a time when unforgettable memories are made and great stories happen - along with new friends from all over the world. Enjoy every second of it and have the time of your life - that's what Gap Years are for.
Have you ever taken a gap year? What is your opinion about gap years?
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