The Gap Year Itch

The Gap Year Itch

Once again I spent my weekend incredibly busy- instead of taking the bank holiday to rest. However I came across another thing that apparently is quite common and I wanted to share my thoughts with you guys.

So before University and after A-Level results a lot of students take a gap year to either work or travel the world. Occasionally this is because they do not get into the University they want, or sometimes it is just for them to take a break from working. It is a good idea for some people but not all.

I decided not to take a gap year and went straight to Kent Uni.

Do I regret it?

No but then I am sure that if I had gone on a gap year I would have loved it. Plus i think that either before Uni or after is a great time to explore the world when you have no expectations or other commitments, but can you get away with it in your late twenties?

If you are going straight into work after school than I think it is a great way to get ahead on the ladder but in the same way I think exploring the world is healthy for you as an individual. The only problem that I have seen people experience is that in that gap year they mature. Instead of coming to Uni and living the uni life as a student, they instead join with a new perspective on life and are less involved, either because the majority of the students are younger than them or because they feel they have out partied themselves on the gap year. People can join Uni and feel out of place or regret graduating later than most of their friends.

Of course this is just one type of person and there are a lot of students out there who have had gap years and have loved them and joined Uni after with no problems at all.

There are just those occasional few..

Although the topic I am interested in is, whether you can pull off a gap year later on, after you have started your full time job as a sort of mid-life get away/crisis.

As a student and when you are younger you tend to get away with more than when you are in your late twenties. Why is this? Is it because of all the expectations surrounding us at that age: marriage, kids etc that we are looked at negatively if we suddenly go travelling. Up and leaving your full time job and potentially risking long term relationships to explore the world-which you regret not doing earlier on in your life. Are you giving up everything for the right reason?

I have many friends who at the age of mid-twenties feel that life is getting to much-work is busy all the time and they hardly have any time to think let alone maintain healthy relationships with friends and boyfriends. They feel trapped by their life and in their minds the only way out is to get out of the country. A few of them have left their jobs and gone travelling only to come back and regret it due to the loss of money and the loss of a comfortable job that they enjoyed…they are now unemployed trying to get back to where they were before the trip.

I also have the opposite-friends who went away for a month and loved it so much that they have become almost entirely different, free from the stress of life with a new outlook on the world. They are still in their job and took their annual leave to go on an adventure for a month. This to me seems the most sensible idea. Instead of causing yourself more stress you emerge the ‘getting away’ by using your annual leave so that you still have a job when you get back.

But why is there such an itch in this stage of life to go away?

Is this our last chance to be free and adventurous?

Is it all downhill after this?

Perhaps it is the sudden thought that they are 25-26 and expected to marry by the age of 30 so that they can have kids before 40. This is, in their minds, there last chance to really explore without any stress. Personally I think this is the wrong way to look at it. Yes for some people a look at how the other people in the world live their lives, is really good and can teach you a lot about yourself and how you are happy to live your life. However sometimes it is merely impulse that given time will disappear. Sometimes life can get so much that you want to escape but unless you have a real plan about going away and know what you want to achieve by doing it, than I think it could be a big mistake.

Taking the advantage of going away due to a job re-locating you is a great chance at a new start.

Making the most of annual leave and going away to explore is a fantastic way to enjoy life.

But doing it without planning or thinking about what will happen after is another load of stress for you to encounter on your return.

I guess my view is that Gap Years are great when thought out.

Unfortunately it seems to be in this life style that you cannot get away with exploring the world at a later age, but I personally think that that is wrong. You should be able to do anything -whenever you want. As long as you know what you want to acheive by doing it and you are not sacrificing potential possiblities back at home than why not go and explore?

Enjoy Life no matter what age you are!!!! Ignore what others think as long -as you have thoroughly thought it through and are not going purely based on quick instinct.


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