- Students’ Column
- War and Military
Study at a university is the most interesting, exciting, and useful time in a person’s life! You meet new people that you can share your interests with, find out something new each day; learn how to manage your time. As a whole, you prepare yourself to the future and the inevitable grown-up life. However, before you make up your mind to do it, you may also choose another alternative – a Gap Year.
Initially, it came to the world from the United Kingdom in 1970’s with the help of the work of Cornelius H. Bull, founder of Interim Programs. And was introduced to USA in early 1980’s. It was about the seven or eight month gap between final exams and the beginning of university.
Have you ever dreamed of seeing Paris or of backpacking in sunny Mexico? And surely you got tired of eternal education… I think that in this case you need to have a break and try yourself doing some different activities. Besides, most people finishing school do not know exactly what they are going to be after university. But the world says: “You need a higher education as soon as possible! Otherwise your future profession is going to be of a yard keeper or a plumber”. Being frightened, pupils start to choose in panic, the less harmless specialty for them. Then they have two options: they either find it interesting for themselves or work in another sphere. In Russia, only about 40% of college graduates work in a specialty (says ITAR-TASS), and in Ukraine – just 12-15% (according to the TSN News). Does that not mean that people should not be in a hurry?
First of all, it gives students enough time to organize their thoughts and to clear up their mind. With a Gap Year, it is understood that nobody expects quick decisions from you. It is a sigh of relief! When person feels calm, one is able to reason and objectively look at a situation.
In this free time, a student can refine the specific skills for college and find out useful information for a future life and career.
Secondly, a Gap Year serves as a field where youth can test their skills. Taking part in activities such as volunteer projects, working abroad and just travelling allows students to discover the world. They leave their comfort zone and grow, getting the best possible experience.
Working in different spheres and directions will make it much easier for students to choose the right one. And you don’t need to have a diploma for working. The point is to make an effort and to work in the right direction.
There is a great difference in opinions about taking a Gap Year and it depends not only on person, but also on region where one lives. In the developed countries (United States, Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Italy, Australia, etc.) it is welcomed. Western Universities really appreciate active and dynamic youth. A resume for the future work will seem richer and become even priceless because of the work experience. However, in Ukraine, for example, people do not find a Gap Year important and necessary. The opinion is that it is just a waste of time and money. Nevertheless, to take a gap after school you do not need money at all! When you go to work, especially in your own country, you earn money yourself! It is a great chance to feel the responsibility and to learn how to deal with it.
Some may say that students, while having a Gap Year, forget everything they have learnt in school. Others may say that if you are not organized enough, a Gap Year will turn into a watching-TV-doing-nothing kind of life. Nevertheless, to my mind, school graduates should remember one thing – one can never know until they try. If you are not sure about your future profession, have doubts about the university you have chosen – take a chance and enter in your future life with confidence!
One year to see the world, one year to have incredible experiences, one year to get to know who you are – it’s priceless.