Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

Taking a gap year could benefit you for the rest of your life

iStock_000020423379_Large.jpg

With the lure of exotic travel, the chance to start earning a proper salary or an excuse to finally break free from mum and dad, it's no surprise that gap years are a popular choice for students.

Here in the UK, over 5% of students deferred their university to take a gap year in 2015, while in the US, universities such as Harvard recommend students take a year out to "travel, pursue a special project or activity, work or spend time in another meaningful way".

And now there is good news for those who choose to take a gap year before heading off to university: you could be reaping the benefits for the rest of your life.

travel

In his new book, There Is Life After College: What Parents and Students Should Know About Navigating School to Prepare for the Jobs of TomorrowUniversity of Arizona professor and former editor of The Chronicle of Higher Education, Jeffrey Sellingo, argues the case for taking a year out.

Describing a gap year as an invaluable experience, Sellingo stresses the importance of taking time out in order to let students assess how they can make the most of their experience at university, which will in turn have an effect on their later careers.

"We shouldn't rush this transition," he told The New York Times"We are rushing too many kids off to college who aren’t ready or don’t know why they’re there."

gap year

To make the most of a gap year, Sellingo recommends taking part in "meaningful work experience, academic preparation for college, or travel that opens up the horizon to the rest of the world". He added that "students who delay college to work odd jobs for a while to try to ‘find themselves’ don’t do as well as everyone else when they get to college."

Sellingo also recommends thinking of a gap year as part of your life-long education.

"We still think of an education as this thing you get, at this one place, once in your life,” he said. “That’s not the way it works anymore.”

And it's not just students who benefit from taking time out: adults can be at an advantage if they take a grown-up gap year, too.

So whether you make up one of the 30% of gappers travelling independently across the globe (the Foreign Office brilliantly calls these people the 'Invincibles') or join a group trip, there are plenty of reasons for you to head off and explore.

travel

Related

iStock_000087484245_Large (1).jpg

Ten ways to master the art of solo travel

lyons.jpg

Bride shaves head at wedding in solidarity with terminally ill husband

aaiaj858_rt.jpg

Food writer Yasmin Khan shows a side of Iran rarely seen in the news

dobbs 4.jpg

The couple who sold their house to fund a round-the-world honeymoon

8 Bell Tent.JPG

Britain's most desired Airbnb property is not what you'd expect

L'enclume_-279.jpg

Incredible UK restaurants with bedrooms

pool.PNG

The world's most spectacular swimming pools with a view

main_rt.jpg

Three nonagenarians share invaluable life lessons

Air steward.JPG

Five secrets you never knew about flying

More

Revealed: the world’s best cities to live in

London didn't even make the top 50...

by Sarah Biddlecombe
16 Aug 2017

Discover an unspoilt corner of Sicily

With miles of wild, sandy beaches, a rich history and even richer cuisine, Stylist falls for south-east Sicily

by The Stylist web team
15 Aug 2017

You could rent a private Caribbean island for under £500

All your holiday dreams are about to come true

by Megan Murray
09 Aug 2017

8 Disney castles you can actually visit in real life

08 Aug 2017

Swim off Shetland's secret beaches

Wild swimming doesn't get much wilder than Scotland's shores; Stylist leaps in

by Anna Hart
08 Aug 2017

Is the ‘wanderlust gene’ the reason why you can’t stop travelling?

Some research suggests that thrill-seekers share a certain gene. But that isn’t the whole story

by Moya Crockett
04 Aug 2017

The world’s best sleeper train routes

Time to bunk up, from the UK to Europe and beyond

by Anna Brech
02 Aug 2017

This is how to find the cheapest flights on the internet

Less money spent on flights equals more money for the aperol spritz budget

by Sarah Biddlecombe
02 Aug 2017

Grab some friends and escape to a Balearic paradise

Stylist heads to a Mallorcan villa in search of sun, seclusion and stunning views

by Stylist
01 Aug 2017

Retreat to a fantasy pad in northern Cornwall

Stylist is one of the first to stay at the UK's coolest self-catering bolthole

by Susan Riley
25 Jul 2017