THE BLOG

Taking a Gap Year: Why I Recommend it

05/08/2014 11:19 BST | Updated 02/10/2014 10:59 BST

Taking a gap year is either one of the hardest or easiest decisions you will make while planning your future in Higher Education.

Before you get your final results, you may be going through some sort of dilemma, whether to go to University this year, or wait till next year. Should I jump back into the joys of education, or should I experience what this world has to offer? Many thoughts go running through your mind, I've been there.

Research shows that students who take a well-planned, structured year out are more likely to be satisfied with their choice of course and, even better, are more likely to complete the whole three (4, if you're in Scotland!) years.

I decided to take a gap year, and it was honestly one of the better decisions i've made.

With no help from mum or dad, I did the tiniest bit of traveling - with some money I had saved, from when I was expecting to start uni - once that traveling was complete I got a six month paid internship.

The internship wasn't in the plan. The original plan was to work for a few months and then take myself to some exotic locations, but I somehow ended up working in a field I thought I never would, science, to be more precise, plant biology - botany.

I'm usually a lot more of a humanities/social science type of person, but this opportunity came and hit me in the face and it was a too good of an opportunity to turn down. After all, taking a gap year is all about experiencing new things.

Doing the internship has taught me many things, such as being a lot more interactive with physical objects, being more professionally vocal, and being able to solve problems I wasn't always 100% with.

Since doing the gap year, I know once I start university I will be a lot more comfortable with myself, and my course, compared to if I jumped straight in to it. I also know, I now have that little extra to add to my CV.

I'm not saying take a gap year to do an internship. I'm saying take a gap year to experience life that little bit more, because once you head back into education, you're not going to have much time to experience the things you could do within a whole year. Sure, you can go on trips with societies and sports clubs, and do weekly internships during the short holidays, but you wont experience the thrill of doing it independently.