The current uncertainty about how the Covid 19 pandemic will evolve over the next few months, makes this a particularly stressful time for students moving on to the next stage of their education in Autumn 2020.
Some students may already be planning to take a gap year to work or travel before university, but many are set on a course that includes starting a course at a traditional university in Autumn 2020.
The prospect of ‘A’ Level grades being awarded without exams and the uncertainty surrounding university admissions and whether courses will be taught online for the first term suggests that it may be a better option for some students to take a gap year and begin their courses in Autumn 2021.
Why Take A Gap Year?
Taking a gap year between school and university/college doesn’t mean your education comes to a complete halt. A gap year is an opportunity to expand your learning and enhance your skills.
- Travelling or volunteering overseas shows you have practical competencies, as well as the initiative to break away from the traditional school – university/college career path.
- Learning about different cultures and countries builds empathy, tolerance and independence; all valuable qualities no matter which field you find yourself in.
- It’s your chance to see the world before settling down to study or start your career. You will also have time to consider your future studies and make sure that you are on the right track!
- It’s a way for you to get out of your comfort zone and find out more about your own natural aptitudes.
- It’s an opportunity to combine work with travel, enabling you to take responsibility for your finances and save up for the next stage of your education.
It’s important to approach your gap year constructively.
A great tip would be to lay out some goals that you would like to achieve by the end of the year. These could include saving a certain amount of money, taking a trip you’ve always dreamed of taking, or volunteering for a cause you’re passionate about.
Make sure you write down your goals, so you can check in on your progress throughout the year. With goals in place, you’ll stay focused, develop your self-awareness and eventually build a better idea of where you want to be in the future.
About the author
Claire Brooke has been interested in sport and travel from an early age, and has become an enthusiastic lifelong learner, studying with the Open University to gain a Diploma in Music and more recently at Nottingham Trent University where she obtained a CELTA qualification in Teaching English as a foreign language.
As a student support advisor with Global Grad, Claire is a firm believer that given encouragement, guidance and opportunity; every young person should be able to gain the confidence and life skills to enhance their future career.