Should I Take a Gap Year?
The University of Central Lancashire (UCLAN) runs an innovative course on Active Citizenship and Volunteer Development. The course leader has provided these useful pointers to help you decide whether a gap year is right for you.
A worthwhile gap year will teach you to be self-reliant, to manage your money, enhance your team working skills and increase your maturity.
Good activities for your gap year
- Voluntary work at home or abroad
- Work experience or a temporary job
- Independent travel
- Learning a new skill e.g. a foreign language
Bad activities for your gap year
- Lying in bed all day because you have no reason to get up
- Spending all the money you earn
- Travelling the hippy trail for the whole year and then boring people with your stories when you come home
- Staying at home for the whole year and not stepping outside your comfort zone
Advantages of taking a gap year
- Developing ”soft” skills such as communication and a “can do” attitude
- Earning money to support yourself through university
- Being inspired by new experiences
- Fulfilling your potential and becoming a more rounded person
- Experience volunteering and active citizenship to build strong local communities here and abroad
Pitfalls of a gap year
- Financial strain if you don’t find paid work
- Losing the habit of studying
- Floating through the year not doing anything constructive with your time
- Finding yourself in an unsafe situation if you don’t plan your travel and volunteering carefully.
What employers like about candidates who have taken a well planned gap year
- You will have a stronger CV
- You will show perseverance, commitment and dedication
- You will increase your transferable skills
- You will be better mentally prepared for the world of work
Click on the logo below to read an article in the Independent about why students who take a Gap Year often find their future career is improved:
Click on the Success at School logo below to read a range of very thought provoking and useful articles on taking a gap year:
Useful Gap Year Websites
Click on the logos below to go straight to some of the best gap year websites around!
A Year in Industry
Click on the link below to find out more about how you can access paid placements in science, engineering, technology and maths.