Some people believe that a gap year between school and university is a good idea, while others disagree strongly. Consider both sides of this debate and present your own opinion.

While
gap
years are increasingly popular, they continue to be rather controversial because the benefits are hard to quantify exactly. There are arguments on both sides of
this
very topical debate, and I will discuss them now. On the one hand, opponents of
gap
years point to the cost involved in areas
such
as airfares, accommodation and living expenses. All
this
money has to come from the student’s family, or even from borrowing to be paid later.
Secondly
, it is often said that
gap
years take a young person’s focus away from studying, and allows them to get involved in distractions
such
as travelling.
This
can make it hard to adjust to university life, damaging the student’s performance.
Finally
, there is a concern over the safety of young people if they are travelling to remote places. Being kidnapped or mugged is a poor start to an academic career, after all.
On the other hand
, supporters of
gap
years say that the skills learned outweigh the disadvantages. They highlight the independence and assertiveness that a student will acquire, in areas
such
as time management and interpersonal skills. They
also
say that these skills lead to greater career success later in life,
thus
cancelling out the costs involved.
Furthermore
, there are many examples of young people using
gap
years to achieve something significant, whether in voluntary work or in a sector of business that interests them. In conclusion, my own feeling is that a year off can indeed be a useful activity, with the experience leading to improved skills that are invaluable in the future. Of course,
this
is provided that the year is planned carefully and used for something genuinely worthwhile.
Submitted by Tolib Latipov on

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