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Lightbulb Taking a gap year? - June 11th 2016, 03:37 PM

Hey there, so long story short I just feel like I've never really fit into the education system... I've always either gotten good grades or okay grades. I do the minimum work to get by, but I rarely enjoy it. I'm currently finishing my junior year in High School, so I have to start thinking about future plans, which I have.
So anyways, I've always been passionate about art (drawing, illustration, etc.) and until recently I was completely set on going to an art school in the UK (I'm currently living in France, have been for my whole life, however both my parents are british and I'm more comfortable talking in English than French). I did a ton of research and watched a ton of different videos about various art schools, I know which ones I'm interested in going to, however a couple of weeks ago I started thinking about taking a gap year, and the more I think about it the more it feels right.
I want to just be thrown into the world and be more independent, do volunteer work, really contribute and help rather than be taught. I was just wondering what you all think of gap years, if you plan on taking one, if you've taken one, tips to go about travelling, etc.

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Re: Taking a gap year? - June 11th 2016, 04:25 PM

Sadly, I am not taking a gap year.
But I know plenty of people who did. This fella who was 2-3 years older than me, went backpacking across Europe. He earned cash by doing odd jobs here and there. He told me it really helped him, because he got some work experience, and a lot of life changing experience. But he said it isn't for everyone because, (a) it is unsafe, (b) Getting back to studying is a bit hard.
I personally feel a gap year is a good idea.If you want to study art, a gap year may be helpful, because you can visit places, or do something to get inspired, and thereby do better at art.
Sorry was a bit rambly. But just my two cents.
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Re: Taking a gap year? - June 11th 2016, 05:36 PM

I did not take a gap year between high school and college, nor between college and grad school, and I regret it. I should have taken some time between college and grad school in particular. I would have gotten more experience, gotten myself more financially stable, and probably gotten married during that time instead of basically treading water to survive while also trying to manage what's left of a savings account and a relationship. Traveling is also a great use of a gap year.

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Re: Taking a gap year? - June 11th 2016, 09:14 PM

I think gap years can be beneficial if you have a plan....otherwise, it's really easy to fall into a spiral of despair I've currently taken time out as I finished my degree but didn't feel mentally stable enough to do postgrad straight away.

As for travelling, doing it by yourself can be a challenge, particularly depending on where you go. It might be helpful to look at agencies and such that run gap year volunteering programs as it can make arranging travel and work easier and you get to meet new people too.

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Re: Taking a gap year? - June 11th 2016, 11:25 PM

I wanted to take a gap year after I finished high school, mainly cause I had no idea what to do with my life. Well, I had some plans, but I never got a chance. My father forced me to either go to school or go to work, or he wanted to kick me out.

So I was stuck with yet another school I didnt give a toss about for two years.

For such a gap year - why not? Especially if you've got more or less crystallized plans about what direction you want to go.

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Re: Taking a gap year? - June 12th 2016, 04:23 PM

I think it can be good to take a break and experience learning outside of the educational system for a while. As others have said do have a plan, and commit to yourself that (unless you don't want to right now, or something majorly changes) you will go back to school after it's done.

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Re: Taking a gap year? - June 13th 2016, 10:31 PM

I am currently in sort of the same situation. My dad wants me to go to university but I plan to take sort of a gap year next year, then go to university after that. If you want to go and have a good plan, do it. Don't let anyone stop you from doing what you think is right for you. You know yourself better than anyone else. It's highly beneficial if you do it right. Good luck.
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