The Gap Year Experience
Leaving home to attend university can be as stressful and traumatic as it is exciting and liberating. For many it marks a rite of passage when compulsory schooling ends and life in the wider world begins.
Some merge seamlessly into their new world, already confident and certain of what they want to do, whilst others don't find the transition so easy. The end of compulsory schooling opens up an opportunity for young people to take control of their lives; if they only know what they wanted to do!
More and more young people are answering the 'what to do' question by considering a gap year before taking the plunge and entering higher education or their first job.
So, what is a Gap Year?
As the name suggests, a Gap Year is time taken out between two events. Usually this means up to a year between leaving school and either starting work or going to university. The time is often spent as a volunteer working with a charitable organisation, at home or abroad. It is not uncommon though to take a gap year to just travel and gain world awareness. Either way, it's an adventure, a chance to learn and gain experience in 'the real world' , and an opportunity to 'make a difference'. Such is the popularity of the idea that there are now many organisations and companies that can help you to arrange a gap year, and advise on the likely experiences, challenges and rewards of many different locations and schemes.