Should I Take A Gap Year?
Are you nearing a season of change? Perhaps you’re about to graduate high school or earn your bachelor’s degree–but you have no idea what you want to do next. That’s okay! You have your entire life ahead of you. Maybe taking a gap year for self-discovery or to satisfy some wanderlust could be the very thing you need to segue into your next stage in life.
Still unsure if taking a gap year is right for you? Here are some questions to consider before spending a year outside your norm.
5 Questions to Ask If You Should Take a Gap Year:
1. Do you know what you want to do?
It’s a simple question, but usually a hard one to answer. Many high school grads enter college thinking they know exactly what they want to do; yet 80% switch their majors at least once. If you’re uncertain about what college to attend or what career to take, maybe you need a gap year to think. Explore your options. If you’re a college grad, you can incorporate your degree in your adventures. There are plenty of opportunities to volunteer abroad while building your portfolio. Your future is bright, so don’t let uncertainty discourage you!
2. Do you have many commitments?
If you want to travel the world or explore a different culture, then do it while you’re young and single. Life only gets more complicated as you get older. Remember when your greatest concern was making friends with the neighbor kid? Then curfews struck and rent demanded payment. Can you imagine backpacking across Europe with a set of toddlers? It sounds next to impossible! If your current commitments are few, it might be the perfect time to experience a gap year. Take the liberty to explore your interests while you have the time.
3. Are you bored of a routine?
Up to this point, you’ve spent years in the confinement of school. You’ve woken around the same time and sat in lecture halls, taking tests and mingling with peers. Perhaps you’re ready to stir the pot. Before swimming to the next stage in life, why not plunge into unknown waters? Explore somewhere new. During the most formulating years of your life, you’ll learn about yourself while shaping your worldview. Plus, quenching your thirst for wanderlust before hitting the books or entering the “real world” is a decision few ever regret.
4. Do you want to grow?
Although there are plenty of ways to attain personal growth, reading self-help books can only go so far. Taking a gap year will expedite your growth. By exploring the world independently, you’ll quickly mature. Your strengths will shine and challenges will confront you. Your worldview will morph as you experience the world in its rawest form, discovering how others live on a daily basis. Your convictions will either deepen or change. You’ll create incredible, international friendships. You may just find your life’s purpose along the way. Future employers will value your intercultural adventures as your skills translate to the workforce. In regards to personal growth, what do you have to lose with taking a gap year?
5. Are you ready for the next stage of your life?
Deciding to take a gap year really comes down to this question. If you’re nearing the end of a chapter, change is ahead. Take a deep breath. Are you ready for what’s next? If you’re hesitant, that’s okay! Maybe, deep down, you yearn to put everything on pause for a life-changing adventure. If this sounds like you, you’re in good company. Rather than lunging ahead because it’s “the right thing to do,” maybe it’s time to experience a gap year–explore the world; delve into your passions. When you return from your travels, you’ll be able to move forward with a greater sense of confidence and clarity.