Definition: 'gap year'
noun. 'A period, typically an academic year, taken by a student as a break between school and university or college education.'
Deciding whether you should take a gap year or not can be rather stressful. The reoccurring idea that people will look down on you for not completing the academic year, mixed together with the fear of lacking on your academic skills are the major issues that a student wanting to embark on a gap year has to deal with.
“Fear is nothing more than an obstacle that stands in the way of progress. In overcoming our fears, we can move forward, stronger and wiser within ourselves.” Let go of those fears. Speaking from my own experience, during my gap year, I've grown as a person and I've found myself, the person I truly am. I focused on what I love studying and that actually helped me in achieving greater results than usual. Yes, people will underestimate you. They will look down on you. Some of them will label you as not being clever…but that only shows that they might not be so clever themselves.
Taking a gap year to work, volunteer, travel or study can be one of the most rewarding, exhilarating and educating life experiences you can have. You'll get to do things you never had the time to do, take on new challenges, learn new skills, explore the world around you and find what makes you who you are. Having a monotonous routine consisting of lectures and studying can often serve as an obstacle in finding who we are and what we really like.
Taking some time off from your studies can seem like a massive and doubtful step but in the grand perspective of things, a year is nothing. You’ll eventually spend around 55 years of your life working, so one year out won’t have a negative effect on your career. You’ve really got nothing to lose. Moreover, taking a gap year doesn't mean you're lazy, or that you're missing out on life, as many people picture it. In fact, it means that you're living life to the fullest.