Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Waiting to go to University and Gap Years

Hi All!
Recently I've been doing a lot of research into universities, courses and personal statement information because I'm off to uni next year hopefully and I just got thinking about why I chose to not to go to uni right away and why some other people might choose not to. This post is just a few reasons why people may want to take a gap year or why it might be a good thing to take a gap year, and a few reasons it isn't a good thing. So lets get right down to business, I hope you find this useful.
There are a number of reasons that people might want to take a gap year and a number of reasons why people don't want to but it can't be denied that, if spent productively, that time can be really helpful for University later on or just life experience in general. Gap years or choosing not to go to university right away gives you the opportunity to:

  • Travel and experience new places
  • Teach or study abroad
  • Work or live abroad
  • Save some money for university
  • Prepare yourself physically and emotionally for university
  • Get work experience
Personally, I took time out before Uni to try and get my health improved, in sixth form I was constantly ill and I was in and out of hospital a lot so I thought that it would be a good idea to take some time out to get my body and mind into a better place before I went to university as it can be a stressful time. I also took the opportunity to undertake another course and gain some more qualifications in the subject I'd like to continue at university, health and social care. If you're thinking of taking some time out before university there's a few things I would recommend you consider.
  • How easy would it be for you to settle back into your studies? Some people find it much harder to get back into the routine of revision, coursework and exams whereas others have said that gap years and time out made them feel refreshed and revitalised before getting back to the hard stuff. You don't need to make life any more difficult for yourself so really consider how that period of getting into a routine would affect you.
  • What would you do? It's a good idea to have some thoughts on what you'd like to do in your time out, learn new skills? Travel? Earn more money? At least that way you will have less chance of just wasting the time that could've been spent productively. 
  • Why are you taking time out? Are you doing it simply because everyone else is or because it's what you truly feel will be best for you? You may find that if you do it to follow the crowd and you end up easting that year/s you'll regret it.
  • Are you prepared? If you're thinking of travelling or going abroad to study/work are you prepared to leave home and be completely independent? Lots of students tend to go on gap years and while they eventually end up enjoying it they find that leaving home for such a long period of time is unnerving or worrying. Think, would you be okay with long times spent from home? Are you financially prepared to travel or work unpaid in order to get experience? Is that a realistic goal for you?
Overall gap years aren't always a good idea definitely not if you're only doing it because A) Everyone else is B) You think tattoos or piercings will be cool from some exotic land C) You simply can't be bothered with uni just yet D) You want more time to party. 
However, gap years or time out can provide you with so many new opportunities you can gain life experience, work experience, earn your own money, explore the world or your home country and one of the most important factors for me personally, that time can give you an awful lot of scope to truly consider what you want to do with your life. Since I started college I've been shown hundreds of jobs I never even considered for myself, I went into that course determined I would become a midwife, I've swapped to wanting to be a dentist, health visitor, social worker and now I believe I have finally settled on a career I wish to pursue. I want to eventually become a university lecturer of health and social care. I hope you all enjoyed reading this and have taken something useful away from this post. 

Love Katherine. X