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Why you should take a gap year


Taking a gap year is one of the best decisions I have made thus far.

After graduating from Junior College last year, I took a year off studying. As my gap year draws to an end this coming August, it dawns on me what a gap year is really all about. Gap year is not just a break from studying. Neither is it a crash course into adulthood, nor is it a year full of travelling. Instead, it is an opportunity to avoid regrets and address the potential 'what ifs' in the future. It is a chance to make you feel alive. It is in fact, the most useful learning journey I have embarked on.

Living the life

Who says that you are only living the life when you are in a foreign land?  I have always wanted to attempt an editorial job and I was only able to do so after graduating as there was no such opportunity available in Junior College.

Initially, entering the working life as part of my gap year was a refreshing experience. However, as time went by, the gush of fresh air turned stale. My work life gave me a glimpse of adulthood, which awaits me in a few years time. It occurred to me that amidst the perks and my personal interest in the job, it is almost impossible to find a job position that is not repetitive or mundane. It is a fact which working adults have to embrace, not to even mention the exorbitant adult fare, which I very much want to deny. 



Who am I?

Unlike classroom learning where you are often pushing yourself forward, a gap year is like taking a step back in life for reflection. Compared to the momentary self-gratification upon striking off an item in my bucket list, it was the insights which matters the most. This gap year was a chance for me to utilise my skills in the real world, which showed me my strengths and weaknesses. Following that, you might just find out where you wish to venture towards as your future career, or at the very least know what job you might not want to take on.


Follow your passion

Cliché as it might seem, this is however the general trend among generation Y youth today. However, what happens when you are unsure of what you are passionate about? I do admit that this was partly why I chose a gap year over a paper chase. True enough, credentials are essential for survival but just as what this undergrad said in 2009, "Uni can wait, I’m taking a gap year", this statement is truer than ever six years after its publishing date.

Freelance graphic designer, Kimberly Tan, 21, took a gap year last year. She said: "I work on freelance jobs and get a taste of the design industry."

Similarly, filmmaker Clare Chong, 19, who recently graduated from School Of The Arts (SOTA), took a year off studying so she could make the countless ideas she had in school become reality. 

One of my interviewees, a freelance filmmaker once told me: "As long as you know where your end point is, it doesn't really matter what exactly the steps are."

Indeed, my gap year was spent as a learning journey to find out where my destination is. Have I found it? Yes I have.

Tags: Opinions