A gap year, a year taken out of study, can be highly beneficial and customisable based on personal goals, offering opportunities for skill development, unique projects and diverse experiences, enhancing readiness for university and enriching one's CV, but it's crucial to ensure the year is used meaningfully rather than as a passive break.
Learn how to make the most of a gap year with Melanie...
What is the gap here? Why should you think about doing it? And how can it benefit you in the future? Well, a gap year is a year you take out of study.
How can it benefit you? What you can do with it? That's really to you, there's no set way of having a gap year. Whether it's right for you means you need to think about a couple of different things.
What would you want to achieve if you took a year out between school and university?
What would be the goals that you would want to be able to look back and say you achieve or you completed in that time.
If you start with that mentality and can build ideas and projects, whether it's one thing on lots of little things into that year, then it can be really worthwhile.
I've seen students develop their opera singing, get their driving licence, become a rock climbing instructor, take part in open code, open source coding for computer science.
I've seen them volunteer, I've seen them gain work experience, which really helps their application, I've seen them do a job or an internship, which has then given them an income through university and beyond.
You can do amazing things with a gap here.
And there are very few courses certainly inside the UK that have any issue with students taking a gap year.
But the ones where there might be a concern are things like, the pure maths or pure physics, when they're worried about you losing your fluency in your mathematical skills.
So do something during your gap year that allows you to keep them up. Take a MOOC or an open university module.
Tooter as a student in a level or GCSE maths to support them.
If you really want that year for yourself to develop yourself, develop yourself beyond academics, then a gap year can be a really great thing to do. It can mean you're much more ready when you do go to university, It can mean you have more on your CV, both at university and beyond it.
The kind of gap year you shouldn't take is the one where you plan to sit on the sofa or play video games for the entire time. As long as you're doing something worthwhile with it, as long as by the end of it, you've achieved something.
It might just be the best year of your life!