Should I take a year off or go straight to study after school?
You’ve just been accepted into your top preference for study next year. Are you excited to start studying again or are you in need of a break? Deciding whether to take a year off or whether to go straight to study is a big decision. Luckily it’s also one that you have a lot of time to make (anytime before Census date next year really).
To help we’ve made a list of some of the advantages of each. Both offer huge opportunities for growth and fun, but the answer to which is right for you is personal.
Advantages to taking a gap year
Work and volunteer experience opportunities
It can be difficult around study schedules to get the chance to experience different jobs and industries. Taking a gap year is the perfect time to get work experience, to complete an internship or to volunteer locally or abroad. These opportunities will all help to inform which course is the best fit for you. They will also give you an automatic advantage over your student cohort when you do start studying.
Saving up to travel and finding the time while you’re studying can be difficult. A gap year can offer the perfect chance to discover and explore some of the places you’ve been desperate to visit. Travel is also a great way to help you to better understand what career direction will suit you.
A break from the books
School (especially the final year) can feel like you’re being filled to the brim with information. In this context it can be difficult to really take notice and have the time to explore what you enjoy. A year off is a great way to give your brain a break from the books and allow your imagination to discover which areas, topics or industries interest you. This can lead to better decisions on what to study and more enthusiasm when you get there.
Time to save $$
Taking a year off to work can not only provide you with experience, but also some cash to finance your study when you start. If you’re having to relocate for study or are starting a very demanding course having some savings up your sleeve can be a big advantage!
Advantages to going straight into study
Meet a new community
Face-to-face study is a great way to get out of your current social bubble and meet new friends from all walks of life. With sporting clubs and a whole range of different groups on campus, the joy that can come from your new study community could well change your life.
Minimise your relearning
You’re no doubt currently at the top of your mental game when it comes to maths, english and your other school subjects. Going straight into study next year can capitalise on all of the information you currently know, making your subjects next year easier. After a year away that knowledge you’ve worked so hard to achieve may be a little more difficult to remember.
Study can be a great way to discover what jobs or careers are the right fit for you. This is a natural and evolving process that will allow you to explore new ideas and meet a whole range of different people. This is why it’s so popular to start a course and then transfer into a different one. It can, however, be an expensive way to learn the lesson so try to think deeply about your choices before jumping in.
Your decision about whether to study next year or to take a break is up to you. Both form equally important parts of different journeys and can get you to the same career destination in the end.
Don’t be afraid to take a break from study, but make the most of your year as a way to explore and try new things. Sit down and plan out what you’re looking for from whichever solution you choose and go for it! The next chapter of your life awaits!