A phrase I hear on a regular basis is "I'm going on a gap year." No matter what age you are, it's difficult to know exactly what career you want to work towards.

Many students need to find out a lot about themselves to define what career they would like to do. A break from education may be exactly what you need. It allows you to gain motivation and try new things out. Whether that’s new food or learning a different language it can benefit you.

If you’re not 100% about doing university don’t do it. Paying £9,000 a year for something that might not even be for you is worrying. Taking a year out can also be terrifying. If you’re prepared to sit at home and watch TV, then you won’t be gaining any skills.

Voluntary work in another country will improve your knowledge far more than a TV. Gap years are great until you notice how little money you have left. Eventually, you will run out of money and have to get a job. For a lot of students, when they see they have no source of income they tend to panic.

A part-time job can be great as an initial stepping stone and will help your career.

Look into your options 

Travelling not for you? Apprenticeships are a great learning platform to balance both education and work. This opportunity could potentially be career defining. University gives you academic skills but not work experience. By becoming an apprentice, you can earn a qualification and with a chance of staying permanent. That is something you wouldn’t get after graduating from University.

And did you know you can now do a degree apprenticeship?

So, you don’t have to miss out on that high-level education.  A great perk of an apprenticeship is that you get paid. If you went to university how long would it be until you have spent your loan? No one likes an empty bank balance, so an apprenticeship gives you the platform to earn whilst you learn.

You will be able to pay for the luxuries that you want and be able to stay afloat knowing your finances are stable. The money from an apprenticeship can pay for holidays, save up to buy a car or even your first home.

My top tip would be doing your research until you feel 100% that your choice is the right one. Be aware of what your options are, speak to careers advisors and find out what you could do.

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