Taking a “gap year” off between high school and university has become a popular option among many young people. This time off provides a break after many years of formal study. Some students use this time to travel around the world, others volunteer and still others begin working. The idea behind each of these activities is to do something hands-on and refreshing, which enables young people to learn more about themselves and their place in the world around them.
The benefits of taking a year off are plentiful. On a personal level, students who travel away from home develop their independence and self-confidence. On a cultural level, they learn about viewpoints, traditions and perspectives different from their own. Professionally, students get a taste of diverse workplaces, which might inspire a possible career interest. Intellectually, they examine their own beliefs and ideas in relation to those of others in a new environment. All these advantages combine to make a strong case for taking the one-year break.
Nevertheless, there are also dangers involved in taking such a long break. Academically, the main drawback is that students can get sidetracked from their studies. A year is a long time and students could lose the good study habits and sense of discipline they had when they were in a formal academic structure. If they begin working, they could also be deluded into thinking that they’re making a lot of money. They could lose the benefit of college or university education and the chance to earn a higher income all their lives.
In conclusion, whether to take a year-long break or not is an individual decision. Each young person should consider his or her motivations carefully and decide on what’s most desirable. Time is a precious resource and people of all ages, including young people, should treat it with respect