ByÂ Ashesha Mehrotra:
It’s not a rich-kids’ fantasy, it’s an informed decision. To take time off post-graduation is not a sign of weakness, but of courage and honesty – to accept that you need more time, to get more perspective and just because…you want to – instead of following the horde. So, if you’re walking the road less travelled, have no fears. Here are top 5 reasons why:
1. You’ll know what you really want
Admit it. A part of you wished to pursue a certain course primarily because everyone else was chasing after it. The peer effect can get the best of us. Imagine, having to build a career out of something you don’t even like, but to have chosen it simply because it’s high on popularity rather than your passion.
Watch out! As this gap year might prove to be a blessing in disguise and help you to figure out what you really want from life.
2. You’ll finally have the time to pursue old and new interests
When was the last time you plucked the strings of a guitar without picturing a pending assignment lying on your desk? Or, read a book because the cover looked appealing? Or, simply sat and enjoyed the breezy weather?
Believe it or not, the education cycle programs us all into being part-humans, part-robots, and that can’t be good- either for us or the robots. To have some spare time in hand, in order to revive old hobbies and develop new ones could pave the way for a career path altogether. Just saying.
3. You can work towards building that coveted resume
As much as you coax yourself, there’s only so far that you can go without an impressive resume. Living in a world full of flattering cover letters, shiny two-page CVs and all that jazz, adding valuable experience on that PDF document is one of the highly recommended ways to make this gap year count.
With opportunities galore: study abroad programs, student volunteer projects and other research related fellowships are a few activities to keep yourself engaged, whilst travelling to exciting places and meeting new people.
4. You’ll get a taste of true independence
It is one thing to be guided by your professors, parents and text-books to perform well in college; and another to be out there in the real world and outlining the next big steps for yourself. From getting the first rejection from an internship/job to entering an office with a respectable offer, it all seems far-fetched and daunting in the beginning, but later leaves you with a sense of empowerment which is definitely incomparable to anything you’ve felt before.
The key is to keep trying until you can convince yourself that you deserve it! Let no hurdles bog you down.
5. You’ll be rejuvenated for the next big plunge
Before you realize it, the gap year will be over. Despite the societal pressure, Facebook updates from friends and arch rivals studying at IIM or LSE, you’d discover a much happier you and wisely embrace what life has in store for you.
But most importantly, few years down the line, you’d thank this year for everything you are.