Taking A Gap Year: Pros vs Cons

Gap years are becoming more and more regular nowadays! A year off from school and studies is something that is being stimulated more often especially for high school graduates. Though taking a gap year has its pros and cons, and I list them to get a better perspective.


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Pros

Life experience – Taking a gap year is like taking a breather! You have no school commitments, time is in your favour, and you’re free to do whatever you want. When coming from school you’re a student and still so young. Some students might even have only little life experience and this is the year to get just that. Gap years are a great way to learn responsibility, maturity and get you prepared on a personal level for anything you’d like to do after that year.

Travel – You have 365 days to yourself, why not use it to travel and see more of the world. This is certainly something that sparks everyones wanderlust, as travel is on every students bucket list. Learn more about the world, see all that nature has to offer, and inverse with people with different cultural backgrounds.

Work experience – Although taking a gap year means a time off school, it’s still a time for learning. Get out there and start working or interning at a company for more valuable work experience.

Work – A lot of students decide to take a gap year to work and save up for their study! School is getting more expensive, which leads to higher loans, and a debt we’re left hanging with for 10-30 years.

Study choice – With so much more time on your hands, take the time to find what you’d like to do. Research, find out where your passion lies and eventually pick that university or college that fits you. And as they say, slow and steady wins the race.

Skills – Learn new skills, like a new language on Duolingo, participate in an online course on Coursera or broaden your skill set within an hour at Skillshare. A year off school, doesn’t and shouldn’t hold you back from learning something new. If you have a bucket list, look at some of the skills you’ve wanted to do and just do them! And the great thing is, it doesn’t have to cost money at all!

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Cons

Year behind – When taking a gap year, you’re taking a year off and that means being a year behind your friends and classmates. It could mean you’re taking longer time on your educational process than the rest, and finish a year later.

Waste of Time – A gap year is a year of action, but of course everything has to come from your own motivation. If you don’t take action and plan what you want to achieve in that year, then you’ll end up wasting your time getting up after 12pm and watching Netflix all day! We sure don’t want that.

Missing out – If all your friends are at university and living the college life, you might feel like you’re missing out, not only on the experience but also the social aspect. And especially if your friends from home are studying out of your hometown.

Expensive – Wanting to travel, take part in a program or do something abroad? It’s definitely not cheap and if you plan on studying afterwards, it can add to your already costly education.

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Tips

Commitment – It can be tough at first not having a commitment, but undertake action and find/form one for yourself, so your days have a purpose. What helped me was having two jobs to attend 4 days a week! Creating a routine for yourself can prevent lazy days and lost minds, asking yourself why you took on this gap year.

Routine – Like I mentioned in the last tip, getting a routine is essential to taking a gap year. Wake up the same time everyday, work out, meditate, write blog post, get out of the house, and doing this gradually everyday will help prevent you from staying in and not knowing what to do the moment you wake up. The last thing you want is to regret doing nothing your gap year.

Goals – If I could give myself some advice before the gap year began, I’d ask myself the question “What would you like to accomplish this gap year?” It can be something personal like inner growth or a fresh start, or something a little bigger like seeing x amount of countries or learning a new language, or even starting a blog/YouTube channel. Setting goals at the start of the year can put the rest of your year into perspective and make a clear guideline as to how you see your year going!

*A lot of these points are based on my own experience having taken a gap year myself, and are in no means intended to form a group of dropouts and angry schools! I’m just showing you that there are more options if you consider it! That is all! 😀


If you’re thinking of taking a gap year, I hope these pointers can help you out in some way, and otherwise feel free to ask me any questions you have regarding a year off! And if you have any experience with gap years, I’d love to hear your story and how your experience was!

Keep dreaming and believing! 

Yasmin x

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