A Gap Year: Weighing the Pros And Cons

After you taking your final BGCSE examinations, you might be faced with two options, to apply for university or to take a gap year, either working, travelling or just relaxing. Taking a gap year is not for everyone, but neither is going directly into university following secondary school.Β  It takes a lot of research and several factors should be considered before deciding on the next step. Consider the following pros and cons to see if it is really for you.



  1. A chance to mature before entering university – in secondary school, you probably leaned a fair bit about how to be a good student. On the other hand, you likely learned very little about life experience. Gap years can provide students the chance to learn responsibility on a different level.
  2. An opportunity to regroup – Secondary school can be a very stressful time for students. Between preparing for university academically and searching for the right post-secondary institution(s) , many students feel pretty beaten up by the time they graduate. Changing course and doing something besides school for awhile can be a much-needed break psychologically.
  3. A chance to figure out what you want – Not sure yet what university is exactly right for you at this point? Or, whether you’re intent in oing at all? A year off can help you think about and sort things out.
  4. Impressive material for a resume and for university applications – Want your application to stand out? Spend a year doing something unique, and discuss in your personal essay how the experience changed you.
  5. Money Issues – It’s no secret how expensive funding a university education can be. Depending on what you do during your year off, you might be able to save money.


  1. Losing momentum – For some students, a year off can be a refreshing break that helps you get into the swing of things in university. However, it also takes you away from the classroom experience, so you might be a bit rusty when you return.
  2. Being a year behind – A year off will put you a year behind your friends. A gap year will put you further back on what can be, a long educational process.
  3. Money issues – Some gap year experiences don’t require money (like working for a year) or are inexpensive (like teaching abroad for a year). But, others can be quite pricey and can be an added expense to an already costly university education.
  4. You’re doing it for the wrong reasons. Wanting to attend countless parties is not a valid reason to take a gap year. Taking a gap year because you were rejected from your top school choice is not a good reason either – it will only make you feel worse. Above all, it can set you careening off of your career path. It’s best to look into the schools you were accepted to. You never know; you may end up loving your new school. If you don’t, you can always put in transfer applications.
  5. Problems with organized trips – There are companies available to help students plan their gap year experience. Some of them have been criticized for doing too much to help students organize their gap year adventure. After all, if someone does all the work for you, how does that help you learn responsibility?

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