3 Reasons To Take A Gap Year
Previously in North America, gap years have been against the social norm, with only 1% of students participating in designated time away from traditional education. While in European countries, students are often encouraged to explore options for a gap year, resulting in 17% taking time off. As Students become more aware of the opportunities and experiences that gap years may contain, more enthusiasm is produced as we shift from the social stigma of gap years being useless, a loss of momentum, or exclusively for the wealthy. According to the American Gap Association, there are three main reasons why Students would flourish by participating in a gap year, and doing a Discipleship Training School (DTS), will allow you to accomplish all three during a 6 month period.
There is no avoiding personal growth during a DTS, as we take lectures, volunteer, work in team dynamics, and looking inward, we are challenged with life in ways we never were before. We begin to change as we begin to step out of our comfort zone. During the school a “One on One’ is a key to our growth. A leader who expects and reciprocates vulnerability allows you to open up, to be challenged, and to be celebrated. Growth is important, and community allows us to go through it together, to support one another and celebrate the possibilities of the future and our transformation.
Travel and Experience Culture
To experience culture we need to avoid becoming tourists, rather immerse ourselves in the lives of the people who inhabit the land we visit. Missions allows us to connect with the lives of the locals, we do not leave with just a keychain, but a connection with real people, and memories of the individuals who impacted our hearts. Learning more of other cultures is more than fun facts in a pocket-sized travel book, but being invited into homes, conversations, and shared moments with the locals. We can invest into the communities of those around the world, improving the lives of others, through serving them. What can we selflessly do for those around the world, rather than what can they do for us. Traveling with a mindset of serving and volunteering is immensely more fulfilling than vacationing and relaxation. God’s character is encapsulated in the context of culture, so as we experience more cultures of the world we intimately know God more.
Break From Traditional Education
DTS is a type of education that does not reflect a traditional learning experience, yet equips you with knowledge and skills that are often missed in an ordinary college setting. While you are releasing yourself from the normal college track for a period of time, Youth With A Mission is an organization associated with the University Of The Nations, offering education from seminars to Master Degrees. Doing a DTS may open up opportunities that you may have never considered before, or even knew were available. In a society with an increasing amount of choices, let’s not rush into further education for the sake of normality, when there are experiences and opportunities we would miss by doing so.
A gap year is not a vacation, an excuse to do nothing, and it doesn’t mean you will never go back to school again. Doing a DTS during this time allows us to get the most out of a short period of time. Preparing us for the next steps we choose to take in life, whether that is full time missions, attending university, or something we have yet to discover. Would we be willing to sacrifice 6 months of our life in exchange for experience that could not be obtained anywhere else? Let’s not follow the path that our society has set before us, without exploring the other possibilities for our future, or a short season. Will you join us for your gap year to personally grow, understand other cultures, and discover new and exciting opportunities?
Written by Alex Barber