blog | 5min Read
Published on November 15, 2021
A gap year is defined as “a period, typically an academic year, taken by a student as a break between school and university or college education.”
Gap years have been all the rage since the 1960’s. Although popular in Europe, it has become popular in other developed countries like the USA, Australia, Canada, etc.
Students in developing countries, especially India, do not consider gap year as an option due to several reasons such as visa restrictions, access to funds, financial dependence on parents, etc.
However, things are changing fast and students in developing countries with their aspiration, access to funds and the internet are getting educated faster and are looking for different options before the start of their college years.
College applications in India are extremely competitive, however, the competition is concentrated on a single aspect – % of marks. Unlike in the west, where applications are evaluated on GPA, work experience, diversity, achievements, etc.
This aspect of admission in the west challenges young students to be more experimental with their lives before they go to college.
If planned well, a gap year in India can truly provide immense benefits and value that no book or school will teach you. If you get on this journey early on, it will have a profound effect on your life.
Entrepreneurs should have the gift of seeing things in the present, even if they are in the future. To start a
successful start-up three simple things are needed – An idea, people who want your idea, and a burning desire to succeed.
Our top reasons for taking a gap year:
1. Time to think
A gap year will give you time to think about what your passion truly is. A lot of college students who don’t know what they like, end up paying for an education and realising it is too late. A gap year will help you reduce these costly mistakes both in terms of money and time. It will give you opportunities to experiment with different things. Habitually, humans tend to select short term gains over long term impact and education is no exception to this. Don’t be short sighted. Your career will span for over 35 years.
2. Work experience
A gap year will provide you with plenty of opportunities to pick up work experience. You can choose to work for fun, for social causes, to gain actual experience, to learn something new, work an internship or to find out whether you like something or not. Since you will be starting out, you will be open and flexible to a lot of new experiences.
3. Improved performance
Chances are that you have been learning all your life. A break will help you refresh and increase motivation to do well. With a plethora of new experiences under your belt you will be set apart when you decide to start college. Real life experiences will help you imagine situations far better and how to implement your learnings in a more meaningful way.
4. Financial Management
A year is a long enough time to pick up a hobby or some other skills that will come in handy for your entire life. Skills like language, cooking, yoga, writing, public speaking, developing a hobby can all result in happiness and/or opportunities to make money part/full time.
5. Learn life skills
A little help, timely advice and encouragement goes a long way in helping you do better. A good mentor is a critical asset. Mentors share knowledge, valuable contacts and invaluable nuggets from their oodles of experience that helps you hack through the thickets of start-up struggle. A mentor is your guardian angel. Every start-up team and every seasoned entrepreneur needs one good mentor.
6. Awareness to the real world
A gap year provides the opportunity to travel. Something that most people struggle to do once they start college or work. Travelling exposes one to different cultures, languages, problems, people, etc. that you cannot experience in the environment you grow up in. It helps increase awareness and create empathy towards different sections of the society and world in general.
7. Well rounded
With awareness and new experiences you are able to make better decisions and become a lot more considerate about problems faced by others since you might have faced the same issues during traveling or during cultural exchanges. Besides, all the experience that you have had in terms of dealing with people from different sections of the society and culture will also open you up and make you a lot more rounded as a person.
While we realise that a gap year in India is quite unorthodox and not a natural path for most Indian students. We feel that there are several tangible and intangible benefits if done well. There are definitely pitfalls like everything else, which we will cover in another blog post.
However, if you set out your goals and plan this year well, it will be one of the best decisions that you would have made.
Your turn, what is your opinion about a gap year? Do you feel there are other benefits to it? Do share your thoughts in the comments below
The Big Red Group And Our Entrepreneur Program
In our entrepreneurial workshop – Ivy Early Entrepreneur, students go through the process of business development and leave the entrepreneur program having completed a business model canvas, competitive analysis, financial model, minimum viable product, and a pitch deck.
Students get an opportunity to learn from successful entrepreneurs who are alumni of reputed universities and are experts in their respective industries.
These experts serve as coaches guiding students through the processes of developing a business concept. Risk-Taking, Decision Making, Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, Communication &
Storytelling, Design Thinking & Innovation, and Opportunity Recognition are a few of the key learning areas of our program.
On successfully completing the entrepreneur workshop, the guaranteed internship will be extended to all the students within our partner firms and with most of the mentors teaching the program. Students will be provided with a certificate of participation by The Big Red Group. This certificate can be used for your college portfolio.