13 Feb 2022

Pros and Cons of Taking a Gap Year

Still undecided between going back to school or taking a gap year? Here's our yellow legal pad pros and cons list on a gap year option to settle your nerves.


That daunting question you’ve been asked for years starts circling, “what do you want to do after high school?”. As you’re hitting the end of thirteen years in mis-match colored uniforms getting opinions from everyone, that generic answer you’ve rehearsed may not be cutting it anymore so, “what ARE you going to do after high school?”.

Generally, students are deciding to continue with tertiary education by getting degrees or diplomas right off the bat, but others have started considering gap year options. If you’re still undecided, we’ve gathered up a list of pros and cons for taking a gap year to get you considering all your options:


Regenerate Yourself

Start asking the question ‘who am I outside of the high school bubble?’. Now’s you’re chance to regroup mentally and start getting in the right headspace for the future, all that time at school already you’ve deserved a break.

This is also a chance to become more independent and feel confident growing up in a world without a timetable for your lunch or asking when to go to the bathroom.

The amount of time you will need for this will be different for everyone. Some of you might think a year off sounds like a dream but get bored of it after a month of watching TV and playing video games, while some people will thrive off having more free time and start to master a passion or hobby, they didn’t have time to work on while they were at school.

Take the chance and see what works for you – if you don’t like it, JMC have intakes in February, June and September, so we are ready pretty much whenever you decide you want to opt out of your gap year.

Build Up Life Experiences

Give yourself the chance to see the world, meet new people, make some money, have lots of stories to tell and use the entire experience as inspiration for future endeavors.

With all these opportunities you’ve built up over the year, you can even start building up that snazzy resume for when you start applying. Gap year experiences might stand out from other applicants with your motivation to try out new things and commit to them.

If you are umming and ahhing about whether you want to take the time off to do this or not, you could also consider a course that offer’s study abroad options and hit two birds with one stone. Every year at JMC, we send students all around the world to places like London, LA, the Netherlands and Japan.

Pursue Your Passions

Take the time to figure out what you’re passionate about and interested in before you get back into the education system, no use studying something because the career pays well if you don’t enjoy your job every day.


Feeling Left Behind

One of the major apprehensions about taking a gap year is the feeling of being left behind. For some this is a tough hurdle to overcome, wanting to stick with their friends and finish up all at the same time and get ahead in their careers early. 

If you’re still keen to catch up and take the gap year you always wanted, two-year degrees are your perfect solution. Packing the same amount of content and learning as a university degree in a shorter amount of time. Or, as we said earlier, if you’ve begun a gap year and feel you made the wrong choice, opt for courses in June or September intakes.

Don’t get caught up on finishing at the exact same time as your friends or the expected ‘three-year’ degree experience, everyone goes at their future at their own pace.


There is no definitive price point of how much a gap year will cost you financially but if you’re planning to travel, a gap year can create a huge financial toll once you’ve arrived home with no amount of earnings received throughout the year. If you’ve decided to take a gap year and work, your financial woes my not be so troubling.

If expenses are keeping you from finishing your gap year and heading off to tertiary education, why not apply for a scholarship or financial aid, there are so many options to help you out.

Make sure you factor savings into your decision to take a gap year. Work hard leading up to it so you can have a comfortable trip without money woes dragging you down. Once you’re back and ready to get back into a study routine, money becomes a bit less of an issue. Our courses are FEE-Help supported which means you’re covered until you are back on your feet.

Wrong Reasons

Don’t take a year off to get some time away from any of your responsibilities, to defy your parents or because you didn’t get accepted into the school of their choice. Gather as much information as you can about alternative choices and plan a fulfilled gap year to get the most out of your time.

Regardless of this list, a gap year could be the best choice for YOUR future! Don’t get stuck on the idea that taking this opportunity means you’re giving up on study or tertiary education in general. Whatever you end up deciding, the future awaits, so grab it with both hands!

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