Gap Years and 5 Ways They Help!
As you approach the end of high school and start considering your future education and career, it’s an important time to reflect on what is truly best for you.
For most of your life, chances are you’ve been on a track, ushered towards graduating grade 12 with minimal choices when it comes to choosing electives. But as you are now faced with one of the biggest choices of your life — what to do with your higher education — it’s time for you to pick up the reins and take your life where YOU want it to go!
One of the best ways to do this, which is becoming increasingly common, is known as the Gap Year. By postponing your postsecondary education a year, you are able to settle into your goals, consider who you really are and what you really want out of life, and prepare to take that next big step.
It’s anything but a lazy year. In fact, let’s take a look at the top 5 benefits of taking a gap year for high school graduates such as yourself!
1. Unwind and Relax
From kindergarten until now, you have had short set breaks in which to decompress from the hustle and bustle of school. If you jump right into college or university, chances are you’ll head from there into a career, and it’ll become increasingly difficult to take an extended amount of time for your own sake.
Clearing your head helps you put things in perspective and reduces anxieties you have about where your life is going. And besides, life is meant to be enjoyed, no? When you have the opportunity to do so, don’t let it slip away!
2. Family Time
In order to get the best education, we often move away from our hometowns for college and university, leaving our families behind as we pursue our own lives as adults.
So, even if we visit our families several times a year once we’re grown up, by the time we’re around 18 years old and move out, we will have spent approximately 95% of the time we will ever spend with them.
When you take a gap year, you give yourself an opportunity to appreciate all they have to offer, and the relationships that helped shape who you are today. Take time to celebrate your success with loved ones before moving away.
3. Avoid Burnout
We talked about the importance of taking an opportunity to relax before your life becomes much busier, but there’s an important mental health reason behind this.
The pressures of high school can be enormous, especially if you’ve been racking up extracurriculars and as many credits as you can towards your dream degree. But the truth is, overloading yourself can be incredibly demotivating.
If you burn yourself out, you won’t be able to apply yourself in the next step of life. So for now, just take a step back and recuperate before you accelerate!
4. Reconsider Your Goals
Taking time to meditate on the path you want to walk in life will give you clarity not just about where you want to be, but how to get there too.
While you’ve been studying and focusing on the now, you may not have had the greatest opportunity to honestly consider the future. Here’s your chance to lay out a roadmap of what you want, by taking the time to ask yourself what it is that you want to become in life.
Be sure to set yourself fair goals, and account for future burnout by leaving some freedom to reshape your goals as you go.
Part of being mature is being accountable to other people. But it also means being accountable to yourself.
Have you honestly looked inside and found that you’re sure you’re ready for the next step in life?
Not everyone matures at the same rate, but the most mature thing you can do is admit it to yourself. Maybe you need more time, or some more worldly experiences, to help shape you into a more resolved person.
One of the other perks of a gap year is that you can work and save up money. Gaining real-life experience will help you grow into a more mature and realistically-minded person, so you can launch yourself into your future certain that you’ll go far!