To Take or Not : Pros and Cons of a Gap Year

July 14th, 2017

By Sylvia Kohl

Taking a gap year between obtaining the bachelor’s and master’s degrees can be a wise decision if you need a short break. It might help you do better in class, and you can use the time to get a job and start making money. Skipping a gap year will give you a master’s degree sooner and you can get a job anyway. However, if you decide to work while studying for your master’s, you’ll be inviting a disaster due to the huge amount of stress caused by the double workload. To make the right decision, consider the pros and cons of all options.

Pros of Taking a Gap Year:

  1. Taking a gap year can help improve your performance in class because you’ll get a chance to rest and recuperate after the finals. If better schoolwork is your goal, spend this time studying on your own.
  2. A break from studies will allow you to reassess your priorities. During this time you can try starting a business or work at various spheres. You can use your experiences to adjust your choices for the master’s program based on your new preferences.
  3. Additional work during a gap year may be good for your resume. If you plan to work for a business that values real-life experience, you’ll be able to show it along with your college degree.

Cons of Taking a Gap Year:

  1. You may lose your ‘studying momentum’ and your motivation to study will go down.
  2. If you spend the gap year inefficiently, you might accumulate more debt or miss a chance to get into a good master’s program.
  3. Without occasional studying, you may forget important data, so restarting your classes will be more difficult.
  4. In case you start working, you might not be able to cope with the workload along with studying for your master’s.

Clever Study Tips If You Are Skipping a Gap Year

Despite the seeming advantages of taking a gap year, skipping it is often the wisest choice for people who want to make the most of their lives. This route saves you time, and you can easily overcome any challenges of learning non-stop using a variety of helpful academic tools. However, be conscious that not every way you might be taking is actually a good one. For example, a life-saving writing service might actually become more of a harm, than of a benefit to a struggling student; especially, if chosen improperly it might lead to plagiarism issues.

  • Use efficient note-taking apps.
    Specialized note apps, like Evernote, are great for boosting a student’s productivity. You can use it not only to take notes in class but also to save information in the library or save screenshots of websites directly from the Web. You can also work on your important notes anytime, for example, while traveling to or from work/class.
  • Memorize faster using Anki.
    Anki is an application that allows you to make flash cards and have them pop up on your smartphone/tablet/laptop/desktop all the time. It’s a great aid for effortless memorization that will help you study even while you are working.
  • Look up info at Scientific Research.
    Scientific Research is a web portal full of peer-reviewed articles on a variety of subjects. It’s a fantastic research assistant for any student as it offers information you can’t easily find via Google.

Both skipping and taking a gap year can be a good decision depending on your situation. Using these study tools and tricks is the same. They can help all students, regardless of how much time they have or what their major is. Maximizing your personal efficiency in and out of class will help you succeed in life.

Sylvia Kohl is an IT teacher with more than 8 years of professional experience. Her main spheres of interest are e-education and she convinced that learning process doesn’t stop after years in school and university.

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