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What good is a gap year?
The ceaseless pursuit of academic goals can sometimes start to feel overwhelming. Would a well-deserved break before the commencement of your academic career abroad refresh you for the road ahead, or would it set you back by several paces? We can only point towards the general direction of the advantages and disadvantages. Your foreign studies consultants will be able to assist you with more precise coordinates.
Look on the bright side
— Make wise use of your time:Sometimes, to get a better view of an outstretched vista, you need to take one step back. Think of your gap year as that retreating step, necessary for you to contemplate the immensity of the prospects lying in wait for you. Use this year to reflect, refresh and redirect if necessary.
— It might be the right thing to do: Academic institutions like Harvard University and Tuft University have expressed what can only be interpreted as informed indulgence to the idea of a gap year. These institutions, not to mention several others, have gone as far as to incentivise gap years by offering preferred admissions, financial aid and academic assistance to students who have taken a break before venturing into the uncharted realms of academia. Your preferred foreign study consultancy would know more about these prospects and the best options for you.
— It helps your resume: No one said it’s going to be a primrose path to unending fun. A gap year is your chance to test the waters before you make the big leap. That’s the time to consider internships, part-time jobs that might enhance your understanding of the professional, social and cultural dynamics of the world at large. Learn another language, preferably the native language of a foreign country that doesn’t speak English in the corridors of their colleges. Everything you do to cultivate yourself gives you an advantage over the countless applicants who are contending for a limited number of seats in a university.
You need to watch out as well
— FOMO is a real thing: Peer pressure gets the best of us at the most unexpected moments. Some people feel left out when they see their friends and colleagues graduating one level after another without a pause, and they feel an inexplicable inner force that compels them to fall in step with others, no matter how unready or unsure they may be. It’s quite natural to feel that way. But you should only do what’s comfortable for you.
— Worried about your attention span: We know how it feels, the constant, gnawing doubt at the heart of indecisions. 'What if I lose interest?’, you might be saying to yourself. And you’re not the first person to say it, nor will you be the last. But take heart. Always remember that your gap year is not a break from your aspirations; it is a longer road to your goals so that the destination is more rewarding in the end.
— Gaps can be expensive: Many students view their gap years as opportunities to travel, to assimilate nuanced shades of cosmopolitan cultures. While that is a great way to spend the gap year, it can also be dear to your pocket. If you are thinking of utilising your break to visit the world away from your corner, think about saving as much as you can. A temporary job or a paid project can help you sustain your travel expenses.
Before you make any big decision, make sure you talk to your overseas education consultants. Weigh your advantages against the inconveniences. Always remember: you deserve your big break.