10 Pros And Cons Of Taking A Gap Year - The Scholarship Hub (2022)

10 Pros And Cons Of Taking A Gap Year - The Scholarship Hub (1)

Whether it’s to take a break from studies, to spend some time volunteering, to gain real-world work experience or to travel the world before diving into the throws of university life – taking a gap year for whatever reason has the potential to be tremendously beneficial to your personal growth and to better prepare you for life at university.

Alas, there are pros and cons to consider with everything, and gap years are certainly no exception. To shine some light on the matter, we’re detailing some of the most important positives and negatives that come withtaking a gap year, to help you make a more informed decision on whether taking time away from your studies is really the right choice for you.

After weighing up these pros and cons, in the light of Covid 19 you might decide a gap year in the UK may be the answer to your plans. Read on to discover useful gap year ideas and direct resources you can use to inspire your year’s adventure in the UK or further afield and seek further advice.

PRO: It gives you time to pursue other passions.

Taking a year long break from your studies gives you the chance to reflect on what you really love to do. You could spend your time pursuing hobbies and interests that are often neglected in favour of studying – as a result, you might even discover that you want to go down a totally different path.

CON: You risk losing your academic momentum.

(Video) The Gap Year’s Pros and Cons | Free Essay Sample

The best case scenario for taking a year long break from your studies is returning to them feeling refreshed and motivated. Worst case scenario is that you lose academic momentum completely. The last thing you want is your transition back into your studies being a difficult one – so you really should consider whether taking such a long break is something that will work for you personally.

PRO: It gives you the opportunity to work and get money behind you.

University life is an undeniably expensive one, there’s no denying it. Therefore, there’s certainly no shame in spending yourgap year workingto gather funds that can help with your living costs whilst at university. It can help you to feel much more confident about going off to live independently for the very first time, taking a huge financial pressure off your shoulders.

CON: You risk wasting a lot of valuable time.

When you decide to take a year out, it’s hugely important to have a clear plan mapped out. Otherwise, you could end up wasting a lot of valuable time. The last thing you want is to look back on the year and realise the most productive thing you’ve done in a day is binge-watch an entire series on Netflix – it’s never, ever going to look good on your CV.

PRO: It could look impressive on your CV.

Of course, if you do follow a concrete plan and spend your year out the right way, it could look pretty snazzy on your CV and hugely impress future employers. If you spend it working, gaining experience, or evenvolunteering, it can provide you with valuable new skills that any employer would be impressed by. Similarly, if you spend it travelling, it could give you a wealth of cultural awareness and a profound ability to live and work independently.

(Video) The Gap Year’s Pros and Cons | Free Essay Sample

CON: It can be very expensive.

If you’re planning to travel during your gap year, depending on your destination and the duration of your trip, the likelihood is that costs will quickly mount up. Without the proper planning and organisation, a gap year abroad has the potential to take a huge financial toll on you. If you’re in any way concerned about funds, you need to ask yourself whether it will be a wise investment for you.

PRO: It can be a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Sadly, once you become a fully-fledged working adult, holidays are much harder to come by. Taking a gap year gives you the opportunity to make the most of your time away from the realities of life. Especially if you spend it travelling – getting the chance to travel so extensively for such a long period of time will be much harder to come by in the future.

CON: You will be a year behind.

For many people, this can be a particularly tough negative. You’ll need to consider the fact that many of your close friends will already be well settled into university life by the time you get there. As well, taking a year out can add an extended period of time to an already potentially lengthy educational process, which could result in you missing out on an early start in your career.

PRO: The life experience can make you better prepared for university.

(Video) How to design your travel-oriented gap year with Operation Groundswell | Gap Year Expo 2021

Truth be told, a gap year has the potential to teach you much more valuable life lessons than sitting in a classroom ever could. This is especially the case if you decide to spend your year travelling, where you will undoubtedly gain the abilities to live and work independently, which will in turn better prepare you for independent study and living whilst at university.

CON: It’s a risk.

Like most things in life, taking a gap year is a risk for many reasons. You could risk all of the above cons and so much more, but ultimately, it’s down to you. Whatever you choose, keep in mind that taking a gap year and particularly spending time travelling abroad will be life-changing.

So how could coronavirus (COVID-19) affect your Gap Year plans?

Before planning your Gap Year, be sure to check theForeign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) website​for the latest travel advice about how coronavirus may affect your plans, but also bear in mind that even that could change nearer the time, so it will be vital to get some good gap year insurance to make sure you’re covered.

Amidst the current climate, the traditional ‘Gap Year Abroad’ has been temporarily halted, with no certainty that this will be possible in the future. Why not consider taking a gap year in the UK.

A gap year in the UK – ideas and resources

There’s more to the United Kingdom than local pubs, shopping centres and bad weather!

Did you know there are 250 iconic landmarks full of rich history, 166,000 charities in need of support and so many more ventures you can incorporate into your gap year in the UK.

(Video) 10_WUS100 History Panel_22092021

When planning your gap year, there are two ways you can go about it: Organise it yourself or look for companies that will organise it for you.

With a wide range of gap year and volunteering schemes available, it’s important to check the legitimacy of each agency to ensure they are financially viable, are an established organisation and are reputable.

Organisations offering UK Gap years:

What is available?

Take time to research the range of gap year ideas, volunteer and gap year schemes available. If you are going with an agency, ensure they are legitimate, financially viable and a reputable organisation. Consider others’ experiences, and research reviews, articles and forums to gain further insight.

Or you might want to organise a Gap Year yourself. It will take a bit more planning and organisation, so make sure to carry out all the fundamental research into the costs as well as advice on safety, what insurance cover you will need to consider and additional checks.

Gap Year Ideas: Need some inspiration?

  • Volunteering– A great way to help and inspire the wider community. You can volunteer with a charity or community group, help out your local area or assist with the elderly.
  • Travel– Planning your travels around the UK is a sure way to enjoy your gap year. Don’t let the rainy weather stop you from travelling this beautiful country! Taking a Gap year in the uk could lead you from the Scilly Isles to the Cotswolds. Train fares don’t have to burn a hole in your pockets. Consider a yearly railcard and get 1/3 off your rail travel, special offers and rewards from partners.
  • Paid employment– Earning money will help you fund your gap year ventures. Consider agency work, a paid corporate internship or summer placement.
  • Work experience– if you want to gain experience in a particular field, work experience may be for you. Although sometimes unpaid, work experience can be a great steppingstone into your career.
  • Part-time courses – Why not try a course in something you never considered before? TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) is a popular course native English-speaking people can embark on where they teach English to people who do not speak it as their first language (Psst! We have a 10% off unique discount code for all accredited courses: 47202F4A)
  • Maybe a new language, trying a new sport or even something practical like cookery, mechanics or beauty.

Gap Year Advice

What do you want to achieve from a gap year?

Be sure to set some goals before you embark on your Gap Year. Whether that’s gaining new experiences, travelling across different regions, picking up new skills or simply considering your future ventures. Balance your time between adventure and productivity to ensure you’ll be on the right path.

How much money will you need?

You’ll need to fund your year’s expenses either through external financial help or paid work. Set yourself a budget and separate your finances by setting up a digital bank account to see exactly what you are saving and what your outgoings are. Budget sheets are also a great tool to consider your outgoings against your income. Costs will vary depending on accommodation, region and travel so planning at this stage is key!

(Video) Scholarship opportunities for Ghanaian students

FAQs

What are some pros and cons of taking a gap year? ›

What are the pros of taking a gap year? ›

6 advantages of EVERY gap year
  • Flexibility. By their very nature, gap years are flexible. ...
  • Control and customization. You need to be flexible on your gap year...but, maybe not quite so literally. ...
  • Time for reflection. ...
  • Career-building potential. ...
  • Independence. ...
  • Sense of purpose.
6 Sept 2021

What happens to your scholarship if you take a gap year? ›

If you take a gap year, you may find your award amount changes because colleges and universities have a certain amount of federal aid to give away each year. The biggest downside to the FAFSA is filling it out every year, which means when you take a gap year, you'll need to resubmit for the next academic year.

Are students who take gap years more successful? ›

Amazing Fact #1: American universities say that students who took a gap year achieve 23% higher grades than students who went straight to college.

What are the benefits of a gap year between high school and college? ›

  • You Will Perform Better in College. ...
  • You Will Have Time To Think. ...
  • You Will Make New Friends. ...
  • You Will Be Able To Experience What the World Has to Offer. ...
  • You Will Be Able to Build Up Your Resume. ...
  • You Can Get Much-Needed Work Experience. ...
  • You Can Learn Independence. ...
  • You Will Be Less Likely to Suffer from Burnout.

What is the advantage and disadvantages? ›

As nouns, the difference between disadvantage and advantage is that disadvantage is a weakness or undesirable characteristic; a con while the advantage is any condition, circumstance, opportunity, or means, particularly favorable to success, or any desired end.

Why should students not take a gap year? ›

Students who decide to take a gap year could also lose academic momentum. “After high school, you are accustomed to going to class, studying, taking tests and writing papers,” Weyhaupt said. “Your study skills could suffer if they are not used for a year.”

Do colleges dislike gap years? ›

Essentially, colleges (or universities) want well-rounded students. A gap year can make your application shine, showing evidence that you have extracurricular interests as well as a solid foundation made up of personal and professional skills.

Is it a good idea to take a gap year before university? ›

Pre-uni gap years are so common now that universities are used to seeing them on student applications, so you don't have to worry about it being viewed negatively. Deferring your entry to university also allows you to take a well-earned break and gain some invaluable life experience at the same time.

Why should teens take a gap year? ›

Real Gap Year Benefits

It's an opportunity for teenagers to gain focus on their goals, enhance their sense of identity, and renew their energy.” Often, that means students head into freshman year with more maturity, confidence, and even purpose than most teenagers just out of high school.

What are the benefits of taking a gap year before starting college essay? ›

Gap years help young adults understand themselves, their relationships, and the world around them, which deepens capacities and perspectives crucial for effective citizenship. They help students become better thinkers and scholars, filled with passion, purpose, and perspective. How do people learn from gap years?

Do you lose scholarships if you take a year off? ›

“Students who were awarded a merit scholarship are at [the] greatest risk,” he said. “When students take time off school, they violate the satisfactory academic progress requirement and may forfeit their scholarship for all remaining years, even when returning to school.”

Can you use scholarship after gap year? ›

For students thinking ahead to what they want to do after high school, thoughts of taking a year off will likely come up. You may be wondering if it is possible to win scholarships during a gap year. Luckily, the answer is yes!

Can gap year students apply for scholarships? ›

There are various Gap Year Escape scholarships, internships for international students. Apart from the university-based scholarships, there are many other organizations including foundations, trusts, corporates etc.

Do people who take gap years perform better? ›

According to a study of GPA results by Robert Clagett, the former Dean of Admissions at Middlebury College, gap-year students tended to outperform in college by 0.1 to 0.4 on a 4.0 scale, with the positive effects lasting over the entire four years.

What are the most common ages of people taking a gap year? ›

Over 230,000 young people between 18 and 25 years old on some form of gap year break. Most people recognise that a year out is so much more than a holiday, as some would have you believe. In fact, a gap year can be a great chance in an otherwise grade driven, academic culture.

How many people who take a gap year go to college? ›

Just 2 percent of students who opted to take time off after completing high school in 2020 matriculated a year later in 2021, meaning the vast majority did not take short-term “gap years,” but rather have put college plans on an extended pause — or nixed them altogether.

Why should students take gap years after high school? ›

Taking a Gap Year helps students discover what they are passionate about through real world situations and helps inform education

education
Teacher education or teacher training refers to the policies, procedures, and provision designed to equip (prospective) teachers with the knowledge, attitudes, behaviors, approaches, methodologies and skills they require to perform their tasks effectively in the classroom, school, and wider community.
https://en.wikipedia.org › wiki › Teacher_education
and career choices down the road. This leads to higher satisfaction with school and employment over time.

How do you justify the gap in education? ›

The rationale for a gap in education

education
Teacher education or teacher training refers to the policies, procedures, and provision designed to equip (prospective) teachers with the knowledge, attitudes, behaviors, approaches, methodologies and skills they require to perform their tasks effectively in the classroom, school, and wider community.
https://en.wikipedia.org › wiki › Teacher_education
should be well backed up by facts without making it sound dramatic or even negative, but with a clear view and focus on the positive way forward. It is crucial to be candid and truthful, while showing the value addition of the specific break, in terms of career goals or life goals.

What are the disadvantages of taking a year off after school? ›

Disadvantages of a gap year

Your child may get injured or sick during their travels. They might find their break too interesting/distracting, and end up not wanting to go back into formal education

education
Teacher education or teacher training refers to the policies, procedures, and provision designed to equip (prospective) teachers with the knowledge, attitudes, behaviors, approaches, methodologies and skills they require to perform their tasks effectively in the classroom, school, and wider community.
https://en.wikipedia.org › wiki › Teacher_education
. Their study skills may have diminished, thus making it harder for them to adjust to life in education.

What are examples of disadvantages? ›

The definition of a disadvantage is an unfavorable situation or something that puts someone in an unfavorable situation. An example of a disadvantage is a baseball player not being able to play. An example of a disadvantage is a baseball team's star player having to sit out because of an injury.

How do you talk about pros and cons? ›

How to Discuss the Pros and Cons of Something | English Grammar with ...

What are 4 pros and 4 cons of being an entrepreneur? ›

The pros and cons of being an entrepreneur
  • Pros.
  • Freedom. There's no denying that one of the best parts of being an entrepreneur is the complete freedom you have to do your own thing. ...
  • Flexibility. And with all that extra responsibility comes flexibility. ...
  • Control. ...
  • Profits. ...
  • Cons.
  • Responsibility. ...
  • Risk.
17 Jul 2018

Are gap years worth it? ›

In short, YES. Gap Years can kickstart motivation, teach valuable life skills, hone resumes into killer shape, and open doors to future opportunities. And believe it or not, Gap Year students may actually graduate a year ahead of time.

Should I take a gap year if I don't know what to do? ›

You never know who you'll meet and what you'll experience during your gap year that might change everything for you. However, if you have a great job lined up or need to start grad school right away, don't take a gap year that will completely ruin your momentum.

How does a gap year affect students? ›

Excelling in college:

Taking a gap year before college will allow you to perform and excel better when you decide to attend college. What this means is that having a year off between completing high school and starting college persevere you take your education

education
Teacher education or teacher training refers to the policies, procedures, and provision designed to equip (prospective) teachers with the knowledge, attitudes, behaviors, approaches, methodologies and skills they require to perform their tasks effectively in the classroom, school, and wider community.
https://en.wikipedia.org › wiki › Teacher_education
more seriously.

What do universities think about gap years? ›

Universities will frown on your gap year if you choose to do nothing with it, but they'll be generally nonchalant or positive about it if you choose to do something constructive like relevant work experience, or a full-time job to help pay for university.

Does gap year affect anything? ›

The main reasons to take a gap year are: (1) it's healthier both mentally and physically; (2) it makes for a stronger candidate; and (3) it makes students more prepared for college. These factors are especially applicable to international students.

Is it okay to take 2 gap years? ›

A gap consists of a year (12 months) during which the student might travel or seize an opportunity for a valuable experience. Hopefully, the gap year will be a meaningful time between secondary school and college. There is no such thing as “two gap years.” What you describe is a 24-month stalling of your edu...

How much does a gap year cost? ›

Gap year costs vary enormously. Expect to pay between $5,000 and $40,000 per person depending on travel style, single, couple, or family, destinations, and activities.

How long does a gap year last? ›

“Gap year” often refers to postponing continued study after high school. It can also be a break during or after college or graduate school—or at almost any other time. Although termed a gap year, the time period can be longer or shorter than 12 months. The concept of a gap year is flexible in other ways, too.

What is the best way to spend a gap year? ›

Gap year ideas, what can you do?
  1. Volunteering – support a worthwhile cause and gain valuable experience. ...
  2. Travel – explore the world, discover new cultures, and develop your independent living skills at the same time! ...
  3. Paid employment – earn money and gain new skills at home or aboard.

Would a gap year help reduce mental illness among college students? ›

As a result, students may be especially susceptible to mental health issues with the added stress and pressure of college. Taking a gap year can give students time to psychologically decompress, alleviating and potentially eliminating many of the stressors that have accumulated during high school.

Why should I take a gap year essay? ›

A gap year gives them enough time to explore various possibilities, take part in social events, take up new courses and learn new things. All in all, it is a good idea to take a gap year. On the one hand, you have plenty of time at your disposal which you can use to explore the world and your psyche.

What does gap year stand for? ›

A gap year, as Knight's organization defines it, refers to "a semester or year of experiential learning, typically taken after high school and prior to career or postsecondary education

education
Teacher education or teacher training refers to the policies, procedures, and provision designed to equip (prospective) teachers with the knowledge, attitudes, behaviors, approaches, methodologies and skills they require to perform their tasks effectively in the classroom, school, and wider community.
https://en.wikipedia.org › wiki › Teacher_education
, in order to deepen one's practical, professional and personal awareness."

What are the advantages of taking a year off after school? ›

Taking a year off allows students to explore their interests freely for the first time and lets them develop independence and confidence by making their own decisions. In addition, a classroom isn't always the ideal place for students to decide what to do with their lives.

Is it okay to take a gap year after 12th? ›

It completely depends on the student whether he/she will waste away the year or be consistent in his preparation to achieve the desired goal," adds Kaul. Students who are not clear about their career or higher education

education
Teacher education or teacher training refers to the policies, procedures, and provision designed to equip (prospective) teachers with the knowledge, attitudes, behaviors, approaches, methodologies and skills they require to perform their tasks effectively in the classroom, school, and wider community.
https://en.wikipedia.org › wiki › Teacher_education
choices can also use a gap year to explore some of their interests.

Are gap years worth it? ›

In short, YES. Gap Years can kickstart motivation, teach valuable life skills, hone resumes into killer shape, and open doors to future opportunities. And believe it or not, Gap Year students may actually graduate a year ahead of time.

Is it okay to take 2 gap years? ›

A gap consists of a year (12 months) during which the student might travel or seize an opportunity for a valuable experience. Hopefully, the gap year will be a meaningful time between secondary school and college. There is no such thing as “two gap years.” What you describe is a 24-month stalling of your edu...

What are the benefits of taking a gap year before college? ›

Pros
  • Time for yourself. ...
  • It's a resume booster. ...
  • It could lead to increased career satisfaction. ...
  • It could help you do better in school. ...
  • It expands your horizons. ...
  • It could mean extra money. ...
  • It may help lower overall cost of college. ...
  • It's the best time.

What are the benefits of taking a gap year before starting college essay? ›

Gap years help young adults understand themselves, their relationships, and the world around them, which deepens capacities and perspectives crucial for effective citizenship. They help students become better thinkers and scholars, filled with passion, purpose, and perspective. How do people learn from gap years?

Why do students take a gap year? ›

Taking a gap year allows you to travel the world during a time in your life where responsibilities are minimal—no mortgage, no bills, no children. This allows you to spend an extended period of time immersing yourself in another culture and unearthing the nuances of a culture you may be unfamiliar with.

How do you justify the gap in education? ›

The rationale for a gap in education

education
Teacher education or teacher training refers to the policies, procedures, and provision designed to equip (prospective) teachers with the knowledge, attitudes, behaviors, approaches, methodologies and skills they require to perform their tasks effectively in the classroom, school, and wider community.
https://en.wikipedia.org › wiki › Teacher_education
should be well backed up by facts without making it sound dramatic or even negative, but with a clear view and focus on the positive way forward. It is crucial to be candid and truthful, while showing the value addition of the specific break, in terms of career goals or life goals.

What is the best way to do a gap year? ›

Gap year ideas, what can you do?
  1. Volunteering – support a worthwhile cause and gain valuable experience. ...
  2. Travel – explore the world, discover new cultures, and develop your independent living skills at the same time! ...
  3. Paid employment – earn money and gain new skills at home or aboard.

Do colleges like gap years? ›

Essentially, colleges (or universities) want well-rounded students. A gap year can make your application shine, showing evidence that you have extracurricular interests as well as a solid foundation made up of personal and professional skills.

How many students take a gap year? ›

Research from Foundry10 found that 20% of students took a gap year for 2020-2021, compared to just 3% in 2018.

How long can a gap year be? ›

To gap—or not to gap? “Gap year” often refers to postponing continued study after high school. It can also be a break during or after college or graduate school—or at almost any other time. Although termed a gap year, the time period can be longer or shorter than 12 months.

When did gap years start? ›

In 1969, the first gap year organization was founded in Worcester, Massachusetts. The organization called Dynamy was founded with the intentions of teaching young people self confidence and the role they play in a large community.

Does gap in education matter? ›

A gap does not affect the career in any way. The point is : do something useful or value added in the one year gap. Whiling away time will create a negative impression. Hope this answer is useful.

How do I start studying after 5 years of gap? ›

Here are a few tips on how to get over study blues and kick-start back into that study-routine, after a long gap.
  1. Buy a Planner or Calendar. ...
  2. Set a time-table. ...
  3. Get started from Day 1. ...
  4. Make Sure to Have a Good Work/Life Balance. ...
  5. Create the right environment. ...
  6. Concentrate- Keep distractions at bay.
23 Jul 2014

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