Four in five graduates say their gap year made them more employable

And 66% of students say they took their academic work more seriously after having a gap year.

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Many institutions encourage taking a gap year before higher education as it is said to help students mature and give them a sense of duty and responsibility.

The gap year has gone from a rare occurrence to a popular choice for university students. The increasing number of students deciding to go on a gap year before university could be based on various things, from increasing tuition fees to the fact that taking a break after school has become more widely known and accepted. 

Recent reports from 60% of students said a gap year helped them decide what subject to study at uni.

Mind the Gap

While many students may be considering taking a gap year, others could be wondering when the right time is to take a gap year – before uni, after uni, or before joining the workforce. Of course, the answer to that depends on individual circumstances. There could be numerous reasons why students do not take a gap year, which could include affordability and the fear of not being accepted at your chosen university.

Pre-uni Gap Year

Many institutions encourage taking a gap year before higher education as it is said to help students mature and give them a sense of duty and responsibility.

Pros:

  • Entering uni with added maturity and responsibility
  • Allows breathing space before hitting the books for the next few years
  • Many organisations cater to students taking gap years and can include courses, projects, volunteering and internships
  • Working during your gap year could give you a chance to save money

Cons:

  • Some students may struggle to get back into studying mode once they return
  • High school graduates may be too young and immature to really value the experience and embrace the challenge
  • Some unis may not allow you to defer a year

Making Your Gap Year Count

Taking a gap year is an opportunity to experience the world and learn some life-long lessons. Here are some do’s and don’ts during your gap year to help make the most of your experience.

Do gain valuable and relevant experiences – Volunteering will definitely boost your application, while this type of experience can also benefit medicine and veterinary courses.

Do gain and improve your skills – In order to fully prepare for your studies, it is a good idea to participate in activities that improve and maintain your skills.

Do earn some money – Take your gap year as an opportunity to earn and save some money as this reflects well on you, especially on your application.

Do discover yourself – Use this break away from the classroom to travel, gain experience and learn more about the world.

Don’t waste the opportunity – However you choose to spend your gap year, make sure it is constructive and valuable. Make sure to plan your time effectively and do your research well in advance.

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