So you’re about to finish matric, or your undergrad, and you’re considering whether or not to plunge into your studies or delay it by a year.
As someone that took two gap years, I’m afraid that this article is going to be somewhat biased. Thus, I shan’t even attempt to pretend that it won’t be, and instead will elaborate on why I chose a gap year (or two) over immediately going to varsity, and then continuing with my postgrad.
First off, the very fact that you are reading this article means that you’re not entirely sure what you want to study or major in. Let’s be honest. Some doubt about your career path made you pause and reconsider. As unnerving as doubt can be, don’t stress, pausing (especially before big decisions) is a good thing. You have more options than you think you do and stepping out into the real world to explore some of those can give you some serious perspective. Indeed, there is nothing as sobering as your first real job. Spending time working gave me a lot of insight into the kind of life I wanted, and the kind of life I did not.
As important as serious perspective is, enjoying yourself and making the most of your youth is equally so. You will never be younger, or less attached than you are now. Time has a sneaky way of laying responsibilities on you, and next thing you know you’re 24 and far too tied down to ever take a couple months to go explore and work in another country. I know age can seem like a big deal when you’re 18, but trust me, there is no rush. So slow it down, university isn’t going anywhere. Take some time to get to know yourself a bit better, and get to know the realities of the job market so you can make an informed decision and get the most out of your varsity years.