After high school, many students are tired of attending school.
I know, I know… it’s a huge shock to us old fogies that after spending up to 16 years of their 18 years in some type of learning environment many students do not want to enter any kind of learning environment (trade school, college, etc.) for a little while. A “gap year” is a time for a student to travel, volunteer or work before they choose to start working toward future goals. Though having a student take a year off, a so-called “gap year”, may be upsetting to some parents, it really can be a rewarding experience in more ways than one. Students, listen up! Here are a few ways that you can benefit from delaying further education for a year:
#1 You’re world view will open up. You’ll become an out-of-the-box thinker that can contribute new and different perspectives to any discussion. Employers and business partners pay well to have people on their team that can contribute “fresh” ideas. If you think like everyone else, you’ll be like everyone else. Dare to have a different perspective and take the road less traveled, literally.
#2 You’ll better understand the bottom line. There’s nothing like trying to figure out how many pieces of bread you can buy with your last (choose your currency) to make money management come to life! Everything in life is a business negotiation. The sooner you start learning how to leverage money the faster you can leverage it well both personally and professionally.
#3 You learn to make decisions on the fly. Of course it’s good to weigh information, but sometimes we can become overwhelmed by the options and end up doing nothing. When you’re traveling you’ll have to decide which of the restaurants, or food stalls, you choose to eat at. You’ll have to choose your travel options deciding on cost and proximity to where you’re going. You’ll have to make some of these decisions with little-to-know information to go on and live with your decision. Employers like thinkers-and-doers more than thinkers-and-think-againers-and-still-thinkingers.
#4 You’ll mature. The fact of the matter is that many students really have no idea what they want to “be” when they “grow up”. Taking a little time off to travel, volunteer, or work provides the student more experience to make wise decisions about their future goals the options available to them to achieve them.
Taking a gap year can help students grow emotionally and provide experiences that can add value as employees.