Taking a break before starting a career or career path can be very wise.
The concept of a gap year may not be very popular for those who confuse life with work, but the truth is that it is one more resource that can help us both to gain health and to evolve personally.
Unfortunately, sometimes the sabbatical year is confused with simple inactivity and the inability to plan a viable work project (the latter being, by the way, something that does not depend entirely on either willpower or effort). No: spending a few months without paid work or receiving formal training doesn’t have to be a waste of time.
Next we will see the main advantages that people who decide to take a sabbatical year before starting a university career or definitively entering the job market can enjoy.
The benefits of taking a sabbatical
Going from a period of activity to a stage in which free time predominates can cause certain problems related to lack of planning and poor management of expectations.
But that, in many cases, is more than offset by the benefits that the gap year offers.
1. Time to train in a self-taught way
The majority of university careers or postgraduate formal training orients towards specializations that, in one way or another, limit the range of learning that we can choose. This is positive in many respects, since becoming an expert in something requires the need to focus on a specific field of knowledge.
The sabbatical year allows us to get out of this dynamic and allow us time to learn on our own or with the help of face-to-face or online courses. The duration of one year allows us to delve deep enough into a new subject to continue training in it in a more fluid way when we go to combine it with work.
2. Travel, the great gift for the senses
To travel well, you need time to discover all the secrets of what you are visiting. The sabbatical year gives us the opportunity to make several trips, either using money saved or resorting to volunteer programs that offer free stay in exchange for several hours of weekly work.
3. The possibility of learning languages
Another reason why the sabbatical year is not the same as doing nothing all day is that it leaves us with a wide margin to learn languages.
In fact, if we put enough time and effort into it, the results after spending 11 or 12 months learning a language starting from the most complete ignorance are usually surprising, especially if we already master one that resembles this in grammar or vocabulary.
- Maybe you’re interested: ” 10 psychological tips to learn languages “
4. You can meet more people
Sometimes we forget one of the most important aspects of life that are reduced when we work or study intensively: social relationships.
Whether it is to network from a professional perspective or to expand the circle of friends, the sabbatical year allows us to enjoy the perfect moments and spaces to get in touch with people with interests similar to ours. Attending festivals, conferences, meeting … there are many suitable contexts for socializing.
5. It prompts us to take control of our lives
Although it may seem strange, leaving the circuit of formal training and full-time work helps us gain power over our actions and decisions. This is so because for the first time we have almost total freedom to prioritize objectives and draw up plans, something that does not happen in the other two scenarios.
6. Offers an oasis of family conciliation
If communication within the family has been suffering for years due to the lack of time together, this is the ideal time to reconcile or simply regain contact and strengthen the affective bond that unites us with our fathers, mothers, siblings, etc.
Before taking a break, remember …
Now that we have seen the advantages and benefits associated with the sabbatical year, it is good to review the aspects that must be taken into account before opting for this option.
Mainly, there are efforts to prepare for the gap year in two ways: saving and planning.
Having an economic mattress is necessary even in those cases in which we are not willing to carry out projects that require large expenses, because in case of needing money for unforeseen events, we are more exposed by not having a full-time job.
On the other hand, planning with reasonable time is essential because if we do not do it, we will possibly spend the year wasting many weeks and simply “embedding” some significant events in our calendar from time to time, without forming a cohesive whole. This last option is a wrong way to imagine the sabbatical year, a period characterized not by free time or rest, but by the freedom to choose where we want to go.