Should I take a gap year?

Gap Year, education, travel, Emily Davis, Kettle Mag
Written by Emily Davis

To Gap Year, or not to Gap Year? That is the question… here are some pros and cons of taking a year’s break from education.

Con #1

Delaying your education

If you’re taking a year out before college or uni, you will most likely experience a slowing down of the ol’ academic side of the brain.

The summer holiday effect, but extended to a glorious 15 months. That’s 15 months of slow brain rotting. You forget your A-level course contents, note-taking abilities, and even how to hold a book.

There is however, a way to overcome this. Future learn and Coursera have hundreds of academically credited courses for you to keep your brain cells in gear, and simply reading, whether it’s textbooks for next year or just something you never found time to start, will teach you new things and make sure you don’t get hand cramp when you have to start reading again in September.

Pro #1

That well needed break.

Most of us, if we’re honest with ourselves, reached a point around February of Year 13 when we just couldn’t hack another test, essay, homework deadline or word from a teacher. A gap year is the only time in your life in which it is acceptable to do absolutely nothing for an extended period of time, and it is glorious.

Con #

Your friends are all at uni.

They’re living it up in the city, and you’ll have to be spending at least some of your year in the back end of nowhere you call home. Gap years are for their travel, and that doesn’t come cheap, so for most, a few months of home-town hard graft are due. Once that’s over, though, it’s party time!

Pro #2

You’ll have some awesome stories to tell at Uni.

People in halls WILL be jealous once you whip out the old tale about the street performers and the misplaced bucket of noodles in Bangkok, and they’ll wish that they did the same thing as you!

Con #3

You might just decide Uni’s not for you.

A complete break from education and a taste of ‘the real world’ can lead many a well-meaning gap yearer to forgo the university experience in favour of a full time job, another gap year, or a life on the road! But it is better to make that decision before spending thousands of pounds!

Pro #3

Life experience.

How can you successfully navigate adulthood if all the experience you have is within the confines of education? Whether you do work experience, volunteering, travel or something completely different, the experiences you’ll have will shape and define you forever.

What do you think? Have you taken a gap year? Have your say in the comments section below.