A gap year is literally a year of doing nothing. At least, you will not burden yourself with getting a job. It is a blissful time for you as you delay going from one life stage to another. Most of the time, this happens after someone graduates from school. If you just graduated from high school, you take a year off before you head off to college. And if you just graduated from college, you will take a year off before you start looking for a job.
Taking a year off before you go on to the next stage in your life seems like a good idea. However, there are pros and cons that you need to consider before you plunge into it.
Benefits of taking a gap year
The most obvious reason to take a gap year is to rest and relax. Going through all the hardships of passing your subjects and courses will leave you tired and stressed. You deserve a break. And one year is not really a long time.
Of course, you need to go about this for the right reasons – and that involves knowing the benefits of going on a year-long break. Apart from resting, there are other benefits to this.
First of all, you get to figure out what you want. That means you can consider the job opportunities that you have. Even if you just graduated from college, there are so many job opportunities for you to pursue. Taking a break will help you ponder on your option without the pressure of applying for a job.
Another benefit is getting to know yourself better. Most people travel during their gap year. This opens their eyes to new scenarios and opportunities. They are placed in a better situation to get to know themselves better. Meeting new people can also be an advantage. When you travel, you get to see possibilities beyond the community that you usually associate with. Who knows? You might be better off working overseas.
Taking this year-long break will also give you time to hone your knowledge, skills, and experience. In the end, that can be a great addition to your job resume.
Signs a gap year is not for you
If there are advantages, there are also disadvantages to taking a gap year.
One of them is wasting your time. Sometimes, the break will not really bring anything good. But this can be avoided if you make sure that you are taking this year off with a purpose.
Another disadvantage is the expenses. Postponing the job hunting task means you will not have an income for a year – only expenses. Unless you have huge savings, you need to make sure you know where to get the money to survive for a year.
Yet another thing to consider is the risk. You might find it harder to find a job if you take one year after graduating before applying. Some employers might look at your experiences during the past year as a good thing – but others might view it as the opposite. Make sure you are not passing up opportunities as you take the gap year that you feel you need to go through.