Taking a break for inspiration

Thinking ahead

Taking a break for inspiration

Backpacking:  Travelling is one of the popular ways to spend time.

Gap year as a concept has been popular in Europe, Australia and America where students often take off to trips before their college or take a year off to decide exactly what they are inclined to do. But the idea is relatively new in India, and something that is mostly taken up to prepare for entrance exams than to decide your career interests. However, in recent years, there has been an increase in the number of youngsters who prefer to take some time off. Metrolife explores this trend.

College provides an opportunity to explore a wide range of disciplines, but it’s useful only if students have a general idea of what career their education is preparing them for. “Today, there are many opportunities available, so youngsters easily get confused about their future,” says Ashvin, a student. “A lot of students take up college courses without any idea of what they want to be. It’s much better to take time off to figure that out instead of wasting three years studying something that won’t be of any use,” says Radhika Jha, a parent.

Although gap time doesn’t necessarily have to involve travel, most students do take up the opportunity to travel either within the country or abroad. “I took a break of three months to travel to the South Pacific Islands after finishing my school. It was a long break and a great experience,” says Bala Murli.

Travelling lets you experience different cultures and learn about the world. “I went to Vietnam and Cambodia for some time after graduation and it turned out to be awesome fun. I learnt a lot about the people and the Eastern cuisine,” says Raghuvaran Gopalan.
It is agreed that travel is one of the best way of getting practical education and figure out what inspires you when you are young. “My friend took a year off after graduation to see the entire country on a shoe-string budget. Though it was difficult, the experience had a very positive effect on her and she came back more focussed,” says Neha, a student.

The experience also gives you a lot of perspective exposing you to different people and teaches you about life. “I travelled to eight islands during my trip and learnt so much about how India is seen by people in smaller nations,” adds Bala. Raghuvaran says, “Since they don’t have many Indians there, the local people wanted to take pictures with me and my friend during the trip.”

Author Nicholas Kristof had once said that you learn more from a gap year than in a single year in college and it’s true if the time is spent constructively.
“Taking a few months off after college and travelling is a great way to plan out your career and experience life,” says Ashvin.

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