Is It A Good Idea To Take A Gap Year?

Hu Naiyu talked to her international friends who graduated from HSE about their opinion on gap year.

Is It A Good Idea To Take A Gap Year?

Nowadays, even in this fast-paced world, there are still a large amount of students who choose to take a gay year after graduation instead of jumping to master life straight away. Numerous surveys also show that students who have done gap years are more likely to graduate in four years or less compared to the national average of six years. In gap year students have enough time to reflect their academia and learn about potential interests, which can help them handle more problems they might confront with in their future career.

We decided to discuss this topic with students from different countries: Nacer Eddin Ziani majoring in Biology, Liu majoring in Chinese traditional medicine and Ann majoring in Business. Let’s imagine that you are conversating with them lively about this important issue.

Hey guys! Let’s start with introducing yourselves to our audience. Where in the world are you? What have you been doing this year?

Nacer Eddin Ziani: I am in Kazan, The Russian federation. I’ve been trying to find what I really want from this life and understand whether my academic studies really deserve the efforts I’m putting in or not.

Liu: I’m currently living in Shanghai, China. Recently I’ve been working on my essay on Chinese traditional medicine.

Ann: I’m studying in the University of Queensland and due to the pandemic I have to stay in Australia for my holiday.

What about your personal perception of gap year?

Nacer Eddin Ziani: Well... I expected a lot to be honest like any other plan I’ve made in my life I try to make higher expectations but of course I’ll be glad with even just 60-70% of them achieved.

Liu: I’ve heard about gap year but actually my friends and I never tried that. Students usually keep on going with their master life after graduation from university. Actually we are often told to move faster in academia instead spare a year for gapping.

Ann: Honestly I’ve never thought about it but I can tell a story about my Spanish friend who just came back from his gap year. He told me his gap year was actually boring because the pandemic didn’t allow him to go anywhere. Basically he just stayed at home and did nothing in his gap year. So that makes me feel gap year is a waste of time.

Why did you decide to take a Gap Year?

Nacer Eddin Ziani: I decided to take it to take a rest, to avoid certain exams which I wasn’t prepared, to acheieve and get some skills which I believe they’ll make my life easier as a student and as a future business man. I felt like it’ll be late learning those skills later after studiesbecause I’ll miss many chances to practice all what I’ve learned during these years.

Nacer, has this experience helped you learn more about yourself? If so, what?

I think yes. I’ve learned enough, the results aren’t as expected but the plan is still going. I’m on my way... In school you learn more and faster because of the stress applied so you feel like you re progressing faster. But learning the right thing is better than learning many things I believe. In the other hand it’s easier to be scheduled when you re busy with studies so you appreciate time more (this is an advantage of Academic studies).

Nacer, could you please share a few of highlights so far?

I had the chance to better understand histology and teach it for 1 st year students. I started the experience of teaching languages for few months now (French and English). I improved my photography skills through many masterclasses and practiced in Real studios and had my first paid photo sessions this year. Same for videography, my first paid promoting video was just a month ago and I m still learning. I learned basic social media marketing and helped small business projects with that as a part of my practice. I saved some money as I am going to buy my first car in Russia soon probably, If I didn't find a better way to invest it.

Nacer, have you had any challenges? Have you managed to overcome them? How?

It’s harder to manage and build priorities time when you're totally free I felt sometimes that people are busy and I’m not. This makes me anxious sometimes and I’m trying to improve my self-discipline.

Nacer, could you please give other students some recommendations?

Just close your eyes while making a decision. In most of the cases you’re the only one who can understand and evaluate the situation you're in.

Thank you Nacer, for sharing us with your experience. Liu and Ann, if you had a chance to gap one year, what would you do?

Liu: Well… I’m not sure. If I had a chance to take a gap year I guess I would find myself an internship to practice medical skills. As for my spared time, I would prepare for the exam for master application.

Ann: That’s a hard one. I’m not sure if I could organize my life well when I’m alone with myself. I think I would practice my self-discipline in my gay year. Maybe I would take some online courses as well to improve other skills.

If you had the chance to redo this year and choose Gap Year or college, which would you choose?

Nacer Eddin Ziani: I would still choose the gap year absolutely.

Liu: That’s a question many people would ask. But as for me I don’t think it’s a question worth thinking about. Because nobody can go back to the past or redo things that they regret. Instead, I’d rather accept every mistake I’ve made and treasure each day ahead. I believe such things are what we can seize in our hands and make us a brighter future.

Ann: I need a university environment and I like my life with a settled timetable. So I guess I would still choose to go on with my study in UQ.

Thank you, guys! I hope you can all enjoy your academic life and find ideal career in the near future!

We can tell from the interview that different students hold different opinions upon a gap year. Is it a good idea? Maybe it is not a question about “good or bad”. It depends on specific situations and students themselves. Congratulations if it fits you well. If not, just keep on your track. Because what suits you is always the best.

Text by
Hu Naiyu