Gap Year

No such thing as ‘standard’: Choose, prepare for, and make the most of a Gap Year

Today, here’s a post for all potential uni students who are considering a gap year before they begin a course.

I took a year off before starting my university course. It wasn’t a ‘standard’ gap year. I didn’t travel or work. But I did find my feet, look to the future, work out what I wanted from Higher Education, and prepared mentally for the changes and challenges ahead.

photo by munibren

As young adults, we all need to work out what’s best for us. And – as I’m sure you know – the answers don’t always come quickly.

My year ‘in limbo’ didn’t feel like a limbo period at all. It was more like a wonderful life detox.  For some of you, like it was for me, it’s well worth taking some time out before embarking on several fantastic years.  Because they won’t be fantastic if you’re not in the right frame of mind.

So taking a gap year, for whatever reason, needn’t be difficult.  Neither should it be frowned upon!  There is no such thing as a ‘standard’ gap year, so don’t feel pushed into university if you have other, reasonable, plans. A friend of mine is halfway through a gap year, taking what some people would see as quite a ‘standard’ fare. He spent half the year working and saving up. He’s now spending the remaining half the year spending that money as he travels around the other side of the world.

But everyone has different plans. Some work the whole year in order to pay towards uni costs. Others spend more time on A-Levels. Some will do as little as possible. Others spend long periods of time crashing on the floors of various friends who DID go to university without a gap.

Whatever you’re thinking, don’t be hasty.  Before you make any rash decisions about your future, consider the following questions: (more…)