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The pros and cons of taking a 'Gap Year'

The pros and cons of taking a 'Gap Year'

You may be approaching the end of your university experience and debating taking some time out to travel. You’re not alone! Gap Years have become increasingly more popular and we’re here to talk about the pros and cons, so you can make the best decision for yourself before entering the working world and finding your perfect career!

Pro: You learn about different cultures

Going to a different country and embracing the cultural shift can really change you as a person. Becoming more in tune with yourself, learning more about the world, and appreciating the differences and diversities that make us all unique. It can make you more understanding, empathic and raise your self-awareness tenfold.

Con: You may never want to come back

You may find yourself wanting to take a Gap Decade and honestly, we wouldn’t blame you! Once you start seeing the rest of the world and appreciating all its beauty, it can be really hard returning to reality. Especially if you find somewhere along the way that may feel more like home than your actual home!

Pro: You may find a new home

As much as the above is a con, it can be a blessing in disguise in the same way. What if on your travels, you actually find your true home, where you feel most like yourself and it leads to the perfect job too? Being near friends and family is important and having a place that’s secure, however, this looks different for everyone and ultimately, we all want to be rooted and if that’s somewhere else – you should definitely explore this!

Con: Blowing through your savings

I understand this might be what your savings are for, however, travelling can become incredibly costly quicker than you think! It’s always worth having a budget and really sticking to it so that as and when you return home, you have a little fund to keep you going whilst you look for a job. Sidenote, ALWAYS buy travel insurance. Even if you think it isn’t worth it, we can assure you it is. Rather pay £100 for insurance than £10,000 for medical bills!

Pro: You might learn another language

If you’re pretty language savvy and can learn as you go, you may find out that you have a talent for a language you encounter and this is definitely something for the CV! Being bilingual is very attractive to employers, especially if you have an interest in international business for example.

Con: What if I fall out of the loop?

Careers and industries alike can change incredibly quickly, so stepping out of the job world for too long, could see you coming back into a different skill set than you originally trained for. It’s worthwhile keeping an eye on the industry while you’re travelling for any big changes coming up, so at least you’re potentially prepared for a shift, or to answer some interview questions you might not have previously expected! If you’re worried, however, that the gap may be damaging to your career or appear as a negative on your CV – don’t! It’s almost expected at this point and you can definitely showcase positives for taking some time out of education and institutions to work in your favour.

Ultimately, the choice is yours and whatever you decide will be the right choice for you, however, always do your research and work out your own set of pros and cons if they feel different from ours.

If you want to start a little closer to home with your explorations, why not check out our suggestions for The best day trips local to Plymouth.

By Emma Thomas