There are many arguments that are both for and against taking a gap year in the middle of your degree and though both sides hold merit, it really comes down to what you truly want to do. Most institutions do suggest students take a gap year prior to completing their degrees but deciding to take a gap year during your degree is a whole new ball game.
It’s easy to feel a huge amount of pressure when completing your degree, trying to adult and working a part time job that in most cases you don’t enjoy, and sometimes a break is just what the doctored ordered but there are some things to think about, like the fact that most students who take a gap year never get around to finishing their actual degree so maybe instead of taking a gap year a little mini break during your holidays might be more the winning combination for some R&R while still keeping your studies on track.
While there are pros and cons, the answer simply won’t be the same for everyone who is reading this article. Here is a list of pros and cons to run through that will help you to answer whether taking a gap year is right for you and your studies.
- Heading off on a gap year could give you new found experiences, motivation and maturity toward your studies
- There are a heap of courses and projects you could partake in overseas that can help with travel costs and also will look amazing on your resume (think teaching English in Cambodia or helping with the elephants in Thailand)
- A gap year will give you some time out to decide if the degree you are doing is what you really want in your heart of hearts and if what you are studying is right for you in the long term.
- If you decide to work while you travel you might earn enough cash to help pay toward you tuition.
- Though most people do thrive, you will need to have a think about the struggles associated with living abroad at such a young age. It will be a huge adjustment to be away from family, friends and in a completely different country.
- Your university might not even let you defer so it’s a good idea to chat to someone on campus about your plans before you make any major decisions.
- Once you are out of the routine of studying and attending class for a long period of time it can be super hard to get back on track and back to where you left off which could result in your dropping out or not finishing your degree.
- Your old friends might have moved on to different classes and will now be a year ahead of you in their studies so you will have to make new friends with the people who are in your year so you have class and lunch buddies.
Life is made up of a huge amount of decisions that will shape your future in different ways, so my main piece of advice I want you to take with you is that if you are thinking of taking a gap year mid-course then ask yourself the real reason why you are doing so. If you dislike your course now, you are going to still dislike it when you get back and if you are feeling overwhelmed then a holiday might help but it can also be a super stressful experience if you are setting up a new life for a year then heading home again. Be honest with yourself and your reasons and the right answer will come to you. Try and talk to someone who has taken a gap year and see what their feedback is, that will also be a great way to gauge if the experience is indeed for you.
Photo by Tom Holmes