Archive - September 2018

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The advantages and disadvantages of taking a gap year before starting college
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What can you do during college to give yourself a better career?

The advantages and disadvantages of taking a gap year before starting college

A gap year is essentially taking a year off before you go to the college to work, travel or do something different. The concept of taking a gap year before heading off to college isn’t too alien anymore. Parents and educators accept the gap year more if it is planned correctly. Now, many educational institutes across the world allow the students to defer their admissions for a year if they want to do so. Here are a few pros and cons of taking the gap year to help you figure out if it is for you.

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Pros of taking a gap year:

 

Become more focused

The break can help you figure out what exactly you want to do. It is a great way to find out your passion and then pursue that in the college. Not everyone is sure of what they want to do right out of high school. Therefore, a gap year can help you find the right direction, explore different career paths, and also find out what you don’t want to do.

 

Contribute towards your college finances

The college education is expensive, no matter where you go to. In your home country or abroad, paying for a college education can put a strain on your family’s finances. The gap year can be spent working and earning to contribute towards your college expenses. A job also looks good on your resume, since it gives you a real-life experience even before college.

 

Enriching life experiences

A gap year is a great time to have some enriching life experiences. This is also a good time to take up the responsibility you might not have before. During the gap year, you will be responsible for planning your life in a way that gives you value. Plus, independence is always greatly appreciated by teenagers. During this time, be open to the new experiences.

 

Cons of taking a gap year:

 

A year behind

Taking a gap year means you are a year behind your peers. You will also be a year behind on academics. However, this doesn’t necessarily have to be the make or break reason. The biggest problem is that once you get out of academics and studying, it might be difficult to get back to that same routine. So make sure you don’t lose that momentum when you go back to the college.

 

Expenses related to the gap year

The expenses related to the gap year depend on what you end up doing. If you plan to travel, your expenses might be on the higher side. If you have taken the year off to pursue a unique course, then you might have to consider how expensive it is. Even if you spend the year working, you still have to budget for the day-to-day expenses.

 

Planning the year properly

A gap year is successful only if you make it that way. Anything in excess is harmful including freedom. So take the year off only if you are sure you can plan it in a way that will enrich your life.

A gap year can be amazing or it can be a disaster. Before you decide to take a gap year, explore your options and plan it well in advance. Make sure your gap year adds something valuable to your life experiences.

 

What can you do during college to give yourself a better career?

What you do in college can define your future. The experiences you gain here can be instrumental in helping you build a better future. College means opening the door to a ton of opportunities. So here is what you can do to gain some unique experiences that will help you create a better future and career for yourself.

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Internships

An internship during college will always be an extremely valuable experience. It gives you a taste of the real world before you step into it. This is a great way to network, learn more about what your future might look like, and decide if your chosen career path will work for you or not. Most colleges have made it mandatory to do an internship for at least 3 months. So that should be enough motivation for you.

Research projects

Research projects might not be relevant to all fields, but there is an equivalent of a research project in every area of study. Focus on getting at least one project where you can research and learn something in order to succeed. These projects are a great way to broaden your knowledge.

Study abroad opportunities

We cannot stress this enough. Never waste a study abroad opportunity. Meeting people from different background, living on your own in a foreign country, and living in a new culture can be eye-opening. It will make you a more sensitive and responsible person; skills which are required in the corporate world.

Networking and career fairs

Every college has networking opportunities and career fairs where students can communicate with corporate and potential employers. These are the occasions when you should dress up and start handing out your resume. You can also scout for different job roles and learn what you need to do in order to reach the expectations of your potential employer.

Mentor someone or be a mentor

Finding a good mentor is never easy. A good mentor should be willing to guide you in the right direction. If you find a mentor in the college to help you find your path, you succeed at getting the best experience in the college. And if you have the ability to mentor someone in college, do it because it will be a great learning opportunity and will make you an empathetic leader.

Explore new opportunities

College is full of new opportunities. Most students don’t grab these unusual opportunities because they are scared. But don’t be. You never know what experience can change your life. You could take an entirely different course than your major and minor, or you could volunteer with a college organization to help the underprivileged.

Each step you take after you finish schooling is a step in the direction of your future. Take those steps carefully, but never be afraid to take risks and try something new. After all, college is all about exploring and finding what you love.

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