5 Great Reasons Why You Should Take a Gap Year

I discovered my love for travel by taking a gap year between school and university, more because i wanted an escape from education than through desperation to go and see the world. A friend of my brother had been away teaching English with a charity the previous year so it took minimal effort to organise which was exactly what i was looking for. A year later, it was the best thing i had ever done and had left me with memories that would last a lifetime.

But what makes gap years so popular and why should you take one? Here’s 5 reasons that i believe make gap years a must for everyone:

  • It’s a fantastic way to escape from school! After being in education since the age of four it’s fair to say that most people are ready for a break from learning in a classroom. A gap year gives you a time to clear your head before returning to university with a renewed vigour and readiness to learn.
  • You pick up new skills. Whether it’s teaching, environmental work or just better interpersonal skills, going on a gap year undoubtedly forces you to pick up new skills that are extremely useful in later life. This could be manual skills that you’re forced to use on a trip in the Amazon or the ability to manage your finances for 12 months!
  • Better job prospects. Following on from the last point, i believe a gap year makes you more employable once you return. Being able to show that you can survive in different environments, get on with different people and adapt to different cultures undoubtedly makes you more employable.
  • Become a more rounded person. Here’s the cliche! I think it’s true though, that if you can last a 20 hour bus journey sat next to a Bolivian man with live chickens in his lap then you can survive anything. Experiencing other cultures and interacting with them certainly makes you more adaptable and better able to cope with situations you come across in later life.
  • You see the worldThe best reason for going on a gap year, for me, is the fact that you get to see so many amazing things in a relatively short period of time. This could be incredible wonders of the world or just great people that you come across along the way, they all leave you with fantastic memories that will be hard to match once you return to education or settle into an office job back home.

What do you think are the benefits and drawbacks of taking a gap year? Share them in the comments!