Pros & Cons of Taking a Gap Year

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A gap year can be a great way to take a short break from your education before life starts hitting you with all sorts of demands. You could use the year to travel, volunteer, or even explore career options before you decide what to study. Bear in mind, though, that there are downsides to taking a gap year. It’s important to assess both the pros and cons before making a decision about what you’ll do after high school.

Pro: Chance to Pursue a Passion Project

People often choose a career path that’s quite different from their hobbies. This may be due to the lack of jobs available in the field or they may want to keep their hobbies just for fun. A gap year gives you the chance to dedicate time to a passion without needing to worry about work or studies.

Con: It Could Be a Waste of Time

You are particularly likely to waste a year of your life if you have no idea what you want to do. It’s important to come up with some ideas beforehand (and perhaps also have some backup plans in case your original ideas prove impossible).

Pro: Earn Money to Pay for Your Education

If you’re unsure how you’ll be able to pay for university, a gap year could be the solution to that problem. Plus, using the year to build up your savings could mean you’ll be able to spend more while you’re a student.

Con: Gap Years Can Be Expensive

If you want to spend your gap year doing something other than working, you may need to spend the savings you already have — which will mean less funds to pay for your education. This is particularly likely to be the case if you want to travel or if you need to support yourself while you volunteer. It’s important to think about whether using your time this way will be financially feasible.

Pro: Improve Your Employability

Graduates often struggle to find a job right out of university without any experience. If you use your gap year to gain some transferable skills (either through working or volunteering), this could boost your resume.

Con: You’ll Be a Year Behind Your Peers

Alternatively, starting your studies a year later could put you at a disadvantage. If most of your friends decide not to take a gap year, they’ll all be one year ahead of you, will graduate a year before you, and will enter the workforce earlier.

Pro: Learn How to Live Independently

A challenge for many students is learning to live away from their families — and that’s on top of everything else they need to learn to thrive at university. If you spend your gap year away from home, you’ll learn how the world works and how to survive on your own.

Con: You Risk Forgetting Academic Skills

University is a big step up from high school. You’ll need to build on all the academic skills you previously acquired — and you may be at risk of falling out of practice if you take an entire year off.

Whether you decide a gap year is not right for you or you want to live your gap year around other students (such as if you decide to volunteer or gain work experience), a great place to live is in student rentals. Oshawa residents can find a home at 17Hundred. In addition to living with likeminded people, you’ll be able to take advantage of some unique amenities, including a games room, yoga studio, and WiFi study spaces. Book a video tour to check it out.