Gap Years: The Pros and Cons

gap year

We all end up pondering the same question as the dawning realisation of uni creeps up on us; should I go on a gap year?
It seems that if you go on a gap year, you are obliged to share EVERY SINGLE EXPERIENCE with the whole world, whether they want it or not. We’ve all had our Facebook newsfeed bombarded by pictures of a girl you vaguely remember from high school riding an elephant, claiming to have “found themselves”. If you’re unsure about jumping on the gap year bandwagon, here is a handy list of pros and cons to help you decide.

1. You can get a job!

Instead of plummeting head first into debt by going straight to uni, you can start earning money by getting a job (who knew, right?). It’s also a really good opportunity to get some work experience to pad up your CV, possibly as an intern. Making cups of tea and shadowing an awkward employee may be temporarily soul-destroying, but in the long run it shows that you’re dedicated and hard-working when it comes to what you want to do (although admittedly, I still haven’t decided what that is).


2. You can travel!

You too can join the tribe of Facebook users posing in a “candid” fashion next to unhappy and bored exotic animals, eventually succeeding in the ultimate goal of finding your perfect bikini angle. In all seriousness, it’s a great chance to explore different parts of the world and learn more about yourself and other peoples’ cultures. You have to wear a backpack, though. Otherwise it’s just a holiday.


3. You can prepare for uni!

You can take the time to become a functioning human being and learn how to cook, wash your clothes and tidy your room instead of allowing the growing accumulation of clothes to gather on your floor. Even just getting to grips with cooking a simple stir-fry will be a god send when reality sits in that you’re solely responsible for feeding yourself. Living off pesto pasta becomes tedious incredibly quickly, trust me.



1. You’ll feel left out!

If you end up going on a gap year, you’ll have to accept the inevitability that all of your friends will not stop talking about what an amazing time they’re having at uni. They’ll be laughing and sharing anecdotes of messy nights out they’ve had in their new city, like that time they woke up in their friend’s en suite bathroom with no memory of how or why they were there. While the group chat blows up with more and more stories, you’ll most likely be sat at home with a cup of tea and a digestive after a long shift at work.


2. You’ll suddenly become friendless!

Once Friday night arrives, you’ll instinctively start dolling up, getting ready for a night out with your friends. It’s standard procedure when the weekend approaches. But wait! Your friends have pissed off to uni and are probably undergoing a similar procedure, but in an entirely different geographical location. To resolve the friendless issue, you’ll have to venture out into the big, bad world and communicate with other human beings. Ignore the fact that you’re socially inept. Plough on regardless.


3. It’s just not your style!

If you’re the type of ambitious, confident person I envy/despise, waiting another year before uni probably won’t suit you. If the unknown and unfamiliar doesn’t fill you with dread and actually excites you, you may as well jump straight into it as waiting around will only frustrate you. Besides, you can always drop out.





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