A gap year is a period between studies, wherein the student, instead of starting their next course as soon as they finish the previous one, takes some time off and applies next year instead. This helps a student in several ways. The general attitude towards gap years is quite often not as favourable. It may be regarded by students and parents alike as a waste of time. In a competitive academic and professional field, a gap year is often viewed as one more year that is spent being unemployed, and therefore, not earning – since the retirement age doesn’t go beyond 65 in almost all fields in India, a gap year means earning losses worth one year than your peers, when you take your entire career in account.

The Rising Popularity Of Gap Years

Despite the typical resistance against gap years, they’re slowly being embraced by young students. Most students prefer to take a gap year between their undergraduate and post-graduate studies. Some even take several gap years.  The growing popularity of taking a bit of a break between studies in the form of a gap year or two arises from the benefits that it has to offer.

 Time To Figure Stuff Out

Most students today are confused when it comes to their future prospects. The large number of career and education options have failed to provide a larger scope. It also confuses students.  Further studies are always an expensive ordeal, and time-consuming too. Devoting two to seven years of your life in a stretch, to a discipline that someone isn’t passionate about is a sure-shot ticket to misery. But a gap year gives one the time to be sure about the path one wishes to pursue.

The growing popularity of taking a bit of a break between studies in the form of a gap year or two arises from the benefits that it offers.

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Professional Experience

Parents usually don’t encourage students to work while they’re studying. What this does is leave a striking gap between theoretical learning and the practical application of it. It is important to have professional experience. A gap year allows one to do volunteer work, internships, or even apply for full-time jobs to gain valuable experience before continuing further studies.

Devoting two to seven years of your life in a stretch, to a discipline that someone isn’t passionate about is a sure-shot ticket to misery. But a  gap year gives one the time to be sure about the path one wishes to pursue.

Preparing For Entrance Exams

Several colleges and universities in India demand that you appear for entrance examinations.  These are tough, and thousands of students all over the nation sit for them. It’s obvious that they require strenuous preparation which cannot be rushed. A gap year is a perfect way to calmly finish your degree and then focus on your preparation.

When we consider these factors, it makes more sense for a student to take a gap year. This prepares a student better, both academically and mentally. Such a student often fares better than his or her peers. Sometimes, in the era of rushing, slowing down and taking your time almost always pays off.

Picture Credit: anu.edu.au

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Prapti Sarkar is an intern with SheThePeople.TV. The views expressed are the author’s own.

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