Are there any alternative to diving straight into university after school? What are my options? Is there any benefit gained in taking a gap year? These are just a few of the questions many young people face when finishing high school or university.

But as bright as their futures all are, the reality is that many young people feel like they just aren’t prepared enough for the big world out there once they leave school. In fact, more and more students between the ages of 17-24 are realising that they’ve got gaps in their game and they’re looking to GAP YEAR programs as a solution.

A simple Google search of the benefits of doing a gap year would produce results that anyone serious about their future should pay attention to. These benefits can be both statistically and experientially proven.

But the question remains, why should any young person take a gap year?

Research tells us that there are 2 major reasons why people take a gap year when they leave school:

1) Students feel burned out from 12 years of formal education.

2) They want to learn about themselves.

The truth is that students often finish school realising that their schooling years didn’t adequately equip them with the life skills and soft skills necessary to deal with the rigours of life. It is for this precise reason that some of the worlds leading universities and colleges such as Harvard, Princeton, MIT, and Yale actually encourage potential students to first take a gap year before going to their universities.

Why? Because their research indicates that students who first took a gap year were even more prepared to tackle the academic challenges at college and were more impassioned to study their chosen course. In fact, according to a major survey taken by Karl Haigler and Rae Nelson – gap year researchers and authors – most students surveyed said they felt more focussed, enthusiastic and prepared for college after taking a gap year.

This suggests that a structured gap year program like Victory Gap Year can play a major role in shaping them as an individual.

Let’s look at 6 of the major advantages of taking a Gap Year:

1) Develop new life skills

Taking a structured gap year will help young people develop new life skills. These skills will give them something that they can draw from in their professional life as well as personal life. A skill such as learning how to read the room or being able to speak in public can greatly benefit most professionals and give them an edge in their careers.

2) Become independent

A gap year will help young people to learn independence. For the most part, they’ve spent pretty much their whole life living with their parents and/or authority figures. The independence they learn from taking a gap year is something a lot of students don’t learn until later in life, often to their detriment. Learning independence and being responsible will serve them well throughout their entire life.

3) Meet new people

Taking a gap year will help them make new friends. Gap years often give young people a chance to make long-lasting friendships based on a variety of different reasons – whether that be interests, passions, shared experiences. These friendships are not only great due to their social aspect, but they can also become powerful business contacts in the future, therefore, the power of friendships should never be underestimated.

4) Discover their purpose

Taking a gap year can help young people develop a greater sense of purpose. Not only are they exposed to various activities and tasks, but taking a gap year can help them find what they’re passionate about, which could lead them to discover and step into a life of purpose and destiny.

5) Experience personal growth

Taking a gap year will lead students to being more mature when they begin university. Gap years provide students with opportunities to interact with others, take on more responsibilities and become more independent. After gap year students begin their tertiary education, they will be better prepared to deal with the challenges of life.

6) Gain a new perspective

Taking a structured gap year programme will challenge students to leave their comfort zones. Students will be engaged in something entirely new in a totally different environment. Living in an unfamiliar town and doing new activities and tasks will broaden the student’s horizons. Spending a whole year doing something special will help the student gain new perspective on life, academics and relationships.

All gap year programs offer ‘adventure’ and ‘volunteerism’. As do we. But where VICTORY GAP YEAR is different – we also have a strong track record of success at setting people up for a life of purpose and significance. There are gaps in young people’s lives that we will help fill in order for them to realise their full potential and purpose.