Why the Gap Year will never die!
Rising tuition fees facing those who decide to take a gap year in 2011/12 give students more reason than ever to head straight to University, and hence bypass the enjoyment, freedom and opportunities of a year off. Some companies offering Volunteer services have come under criticism saying that their projects are nothing more than modern day colonialism.
Last year we had that guy on 'that' You Tube clip that made the rounds. Funny as it was it certainly made people look at gap years in a different light.
However despite this negative attention it is only now that the concept of a gap year is starting to get official recognition. David Cameron can see the benefits, he’s sending the unemployed youth off on his National Citizen Service, so that everyone has got equal opportunities to see different cultures and eye opening experiences [however, that same group have gone and irritated him somewhat this week, so who knows whether or not this will take off the ground!]
The University admissions governing body, UCAS have even stated that some gap year courses will count towards UCAS points. The right way to go? Maybe not, but it’s certainly a statement that if used well time spent on a gap year is of interest to Universities and hence future employers.
The facts are simple. If a gap year is used constructively, used to gain CV enhancing and vocational qualifications then it cannot fail to be a positive experience for all involved. For the participants they are a massively eye opening, lifeskills enhancing, and an enjoyable experience. For future employers they demonstrate the ability to go out and earn money (in order to pay for the project), prove that you have a sense of adventure and character, the qualifications you gain will help you get employment throughout your time at University which in itself will give you crucial work experience, aswell as looking positive in their own right.
The job market is more saturated than ever, and if people invest their time wisely in something that has real benefit to them, and gains them a qualification they will have something that puts their head above the the crowd.
I’ve always been a firm believer that a gap year should have a blend of the following ingredients: something that you have always wanted to do, something that can lead to creating some good in society, and something that gets you qualifications to improve your CV and build your credentials, and should also be the best time of your life.
If people continue to mix these acumen and use their time constructively, then the benefits are clear for all to reap, and the gap year will be here to stay for a long time to come.