Taking a Gap Year

2024-01-24

 

 

 

Your teens may have been considering taking a gap year, a break often taken intentionally before university study.   Common for those aged 18 to 25, it can be life-changing for your teens, yet its value and potential impact on their education and career may raise concerns.  It is a significant decision not to be taken lightly.    

 

 

 

The Benefits of a Gap Year

 

Travel and extended stays abroad can offer your teens new insights, allowing them to experience varied cultures and broaden their perspectives.  It is an ideal period for reflection and self-discovery, exploring passion and interests, and grasping their desires, which can inform their university selection. 

 

 

A year away also means managing their own lives, teaching them critical life skills, decision-making, self-reliance, and independence.  

 

 

 

The Challenges of a Gap Year

 

Unlike a vacation, a gap year involves your teens living independently, which without clear goals, could side-track their education. These are risks associated with safety, and unplanned spending may strain finances. 

 

 

Furthermore, this independence could lead to disregarding parental guidance and losing focus.   An academic hiatus might disrupt their study momentum, challenging their return to study.  

 

 

Employers may misinterpret a gap year without a solid plan as a lack of drive.  

 

 

 

Planning a Gap Year with Your Teens

 

Your teens need to adopt the right mindset when considering taking a gap year.   A proactive stance on time management is essential for rewarding outcomes, aiming for personal growth and professional advancement.  Help your teens set clear objectives for their gap year, emphasising that it is more than just an extended holiday break. 

 

 

If your teens are ready for a gap year, they are also ready to take responsibility for their choices.  They will need self-discipline, problem-solving abilities, and confidence. Encourage them to stay motivated after returning, applying their newfound knowledge and skills in their university study. 

 

 

It could be encouraging to advise your teens to present to you a comprehensive plan that includes goals to attain, possible educational and career impact, destination and activities with a focus on safety and budget, before having an open discussion with them.   

 

 

If your teens are not keen on a traditional gap year abroad, you may consider alternatives such as internships or volunteering locally, which also offer beneficial experiences and keep them immersed in a constructive environment, providing a glimpse of the working world.  

 

 

Contact us today to explore how our services can help your teen’s future.  


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