When you move from an old chapter like high school, to a new one, like the unknown, it can be scary, exciting, and challenging all in one. The transition from high school to college or the workforce can be a huge adventure of what-ifs and how-to’s. The clear component of all this is that there’s no one solution for everyone. With so many options now than ever before, a year in between college and high school could be just what you need to recalibrate and establish what you really want. Enter, the gap year.
Gap years are great for young people who have the time and space to evaluate their desires and who they are in the world. It’s a time to explore beyond the four walls of their parent’s home or the school environment. There’s a whole world out there waiting to be explored and full of people to meet and sights to see. Sadly, there’s a stigma surrounding gap years and taking time off post-high school to travel. With so many people believing that a gap year means giving up on college, parents fear their children won’t find the motivation to go to university. According to the facts, however, students say that their gap year actually helped prepare them for college.
Where Project Snow Comes In
At Project Snow in Japan, we know the importance of the gap year and love helping people get connected to the world around them through skiing. We help our students become ski instructors so they can go off and teach it to others in the future or just become better skiers on the snow. Here's why we are such a fan of gap years:
Grow as a person, Build character
Gap years are great for figuring out your hobbies, interests, and passions. They’re a perfect way to escape the hustle and grind of everyday living and give you a new opportunity to explore other options for studying. In high school, you’re only exposed to so many subjects, but in a gap year, you can pursue a special focus like cooking or skiing. It gives you a chance to test your passions outside the classroom walls.
It’s not going to happen again when you’re at a time with little responsibility and things to think about or worry about. Your bills are basically non-existent at this point in your life and that changes within a few years. Even when you reach university, you’ll be encumbered by bills, schoolwork, career focus, and other responsibilities. Your gap year is your only time to experience freedom beyond school and work. The gap year gives you the chance to broaden your horizons before student debt takes its hold on your finances.
Clarify life goals and career direction
It can be hard to determine what to study after high school, especially if you haven’t been exposed to many career options or realms of study. Heading straight to school in this unsure mindset can do more harm than good. Spending a gap year abroad can actually help you refine what it is exactly that you want and how you can go about it. You’ll be more clear-headed away from regular life and be freer to choose a major or career track. With more free time to reflect and ponder what it is you really want, you won’t be jumping into a decision that can affect the rest of your life.
Statistically, gap years can be beneficial to students looking to study or work abroad. The Gap Year Association reported that 84% of respondents to their study said their time abroad gave them the skills to succeed in work. It gets better. According to the stats, 77% said their gap year helped them find their purpose in life, 75% said it helped them get a job, and 73% reported their gap year helped them prepare for college.
Gain new skills
It’s a fact that most employers are looking for culturally aware individuals, adaptable employees, and people who know how and are willing to collaborate with people from global areas. A gap year program forces you to adapt to a new environment and gain skills before you even head into a college class. Your gap year program is a great benefit and an added plus on your resume and can signify to future employers, and colleges, that you gained unique skills and experiences that certain employers can’t offer. With your gap year experience, you’re able to develop life skills that will stay with you forever. This could mean learning a new language, developing interpersonal skills and communication skills, and becoming more of a leader. It could also mean the hands-on experience that’s invaluable.
When people think gap year, they’re quick to think of a semester of being drunk on a boat somewhere. This is quite the contrary to what’s actually gained during a gap year. Many students opt for more educational time off in international study, internships, or volunteer programs. With so many organized gap year programs that fulfill students' needs, you’ll be able to feel like your time isn’t wasted and you’re living a more purpose-filled life.
Connect with the outdoors
When people connect to nature, they’re proven to become happier and healthier than those who aren’t connected to nature. Increased exposure to the elements is a great way to feel better and more fulfilled. Health improves, joy levels increase, and confidence increases. At Project Snow, it’s so easy to get in touch with the outdoors as our facilities are located on the snowy caps of Niseko, Japan, one of the world’s best places for outdoor sports.
Being outside through our gap year program gives students the added benefits of constantly being in nature and among the beauty of the world. It allows students to immerse themselves in the slopes and get to know themselves on a deeper level. Surrounded by nature and their peers, they’ll learn self-esteem and confidence and develop greater levels of joy and well-being. It’s a gap year program that educates, inspires, and allows students to grow aligned with their natural environment.
If you’re looking for an awesome gap year program that’s organized and can offer all the incredible benefits of doing a gap year, consider Project Snow. The program features three different adventures that give you the ultimate winter season experience and gives you the tools to become a ski or snowboard instructor. You’ll get accommodation, meals, training, and much more. Not to mention the incredible network of people you’ll meet. Enquire today to learn more.