Capetown Student Accomodation

The Pros and Cons of Taking a Gap Year

After 12 or more long years at school, many young people weigh up the benefits of taking a gap year, or simply ploughing ahead with university. What’s the right decision for you?

As with any decision, there will be pros and cons, but once you’ve weighed these up you’ll likely have a better focus on where you want to be and why.

Let’s unpack the idea of a gap year.

Should I Take a Gap Year?

Avoid burnout

After the stress of final exams you no doubt feel exhausted. The idea of starting all over again may be a little overwhelming and your poor overworked brain is just rebelling. That’s completely normal, and one of the key reasons many students take a year out before starting their degree.

Reevaluate your plans

While you may have worked hard to get the grades that you need to get into the field you want to follow, many individuals find that taking a little time out to take a step back from academic pressures allows them to make sure of where they’re going. Do you really want to follow law? Or would you be happier uncovering the mysteries of the human mind?

Learn new skills

Yes, some students use their down time to sleep, eat, and play Xbox. Your time – your decision. Others, however, take advantage of this time without responsibilities and pressures to learn a new skill or language, to travel or to gain some work experience and earn some money.

Of course, there are downsides to taking your foot off the gas. Some find it difficult to get back into the routine of life as a student, losing momentum and enthusiasm during their gap year. Others find that they are a year behind their peers, and when their friends start working and buying cars and houses, they’re still stuck at campus.

Would a gap year work for you? Why not chat with a close friend or family member and ask their honest opinion before weighing up the costs?