Gap years: A year at home

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teens filming their friends_photol
They've finished their A-levels and aren't quite ready for further education or full time work, so they're taking a year off. People assume that a gap year has to involve travel but for many it's just a break from education and a chance to earn some cash and have fun with their friends before they all go their separate ways.

What's the point?

If they're not planning to do something specific with their time off, it can be hard to see why they're having it at all, but a year's break spent at home can be just as beneficial as a year spent abroad. Having a part or full-time job will teach them about hard work and get them out there meeting people of different age groups and outside their school bubble.

It could also be a really good chance for them to gain some work experience in a field they're interested in and start thinking about career paths. There are few times in life when they'll have a chance to work for free and try things out. If they're going to university, the holidays will be spent earning to pay off the debt they've built up and once they've finished, they won't really be in a financial state to start working for free so this year is a brilliant chance to do so.

Continued below...

'Me and my friends love writing and filming comedy sketches, and this year we're going to really concentrate on that. I do plan to get a job for three days a week so I'm not relying on my mum for handouts but I see this year as a chance to really build up my skills before university. I'm doing Drama and English next year so spending time writing and acting with my group will help to prepare me for that - more so than if I'd gone away. I reckon my parents would have preferred me to go straight to university but I know I'll appreciate it so much more next year and I'll hopefully have learnt some stuff that'll help me along the way'
Nick Crossley, 18, Surrey

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