3. Am I wasting time taking a “gap year” to work or travel?

If you truly feel that you’d like to take a break out of the classroom, I sometimes recommend that students take a gap year to work or travel, if you feel it would be of value to you. But one thing I always tell students and their parents, make sure you pay your rent (or room and board) if you decide to work while living with your parents.

If your decision to work is to see what real life is like in the working world, then you’ll need to pay for your rent just like everyone else. You’ll need to learn to budget for your personal expenses, food, and clothing, just like everyone else.

If you wish to travel, then you should save up for it. By paying your own way, you will get more value from your travels. You will be more careful about how you design your travel budget, where you visit, what accommodations you choose, your mode of travel, and the like.

If your goal of travel is to see more of the world, and to learn more about yourself, then your travel will be more meaningful because you paid for it yourself. (Here’s my second tip: Things are much more valuable when you pay for it yourself.)

On the other hand, many of your fellow classmates might be going straight to university or technical college, and getting a jump start into their future careers. Don’t forget, a year spent travelling or working is a year that could’ve been spent on higher learning, advancing you closer towards a job and future independence.  

Through my discussions with you, we can find out what are the right short- and long-term decisions you can make, in achieving your future career goals. Every student I work with is unique, with different priorities, interests, and goals.

The best decision you can make, is one that is informed. Let me help you navigate through the myriad of options and choices that are in front of you, lay out some facts and scenarios, answer your hard questions, and see if we can make your education and career path clearer to you. Call me today at 604 838 1222.

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