As far as their career is concerned, Class XII remains a threshold for students with a lot of unanswered questions pondering inside their head, leaving them confused. The most common notion that students have while deciding to choose the right career path revolves around how to choose the right career, which course to choose and what are they good at, among many others.
Such thoughts oscillating between questions about the future can be a daunting, confusing, and may lead to conusion. In such a dilemma the one thing that becomes an integral part and adds on to the confusion is “Should I take a gap year if things don’t turn out the way I have planned them?
While this question remains a tough nut to crack, requiring enormous self-introspection to reach to a point where you can swiftly answer this, especially when everything seems to be at stake. The impression of dropping a year has always been accredited with wasting the year and the student been left behind their batchmates in terms of the academic session. But now the scenario has completely reversed and if one is determined to go to their dream college, with parental support, if a student does not score well as per the desired results in the entrance exam, have been opting to drop a year.
Dropping a year – Waste or Invest?
While there is no absolute answer to the question regarding taking a gap year, there is a thin line of difference between waste and investment. It is all about the mindset of the individual, and according to experts, one will definitely be investing. Aspirants aiming for their dream career, with a disciplined approach, dedication in their preparation are contributing to a positive investment towards their future.
But it is not that black and white to make up your mind so quickly on this question. One reaches this question after contemplating about various points -
1.Missing college: A wise student should evaluate the difference between the targeted and actual scores. If the difference between the two is small and seems realistic that with a little more effort and reworking the preparation strategy, they can easily reach the required score then it is a wise decision to drop a year. However, if the difference is a major one then the chances with some extra efforts are negligible. The fact is to look for an alternative career path. And in other cases where a student gets into a good college but it is not his dream college, in such a case, he should join the college and continue alongside rather than dropping a year.
2.Poor scores in both boards and entrance: This is a tough situation but as they say, every situation has a solution. A child should be very sure of the career path he/she intends to take thereon. While many attribute it as a dead-end situation, but it is not the end of the road and there exist multiple options -
- New age careers / skill-based careers
- Admissions in Tier-2 colleges
- Private Universities
If none of the above-mentioned points works, and if one considers dropping a year to get into a good college then joining some certificate courses that will enhance your performance.
3. Need time to prepare and to plan again: The preparation for entrance exams require hard work and perseverance irrespective of the entrance exam. In this scenario, one should evaluate the reasons for previous performance. Self-questioning about the failure to prepare well, also opens up clarity, and seeking guidance from a career counselor before taking the plunge also helps in revamping the preparation strategy.
In all these scenarios, one has to think articulately before reaching a decision of taking a college this year or dropping a year. It is not an end of the road if you are dropping a year, it’s only that you are taking one year extra to shape your career the way you want it to be. Also, don’t listen to anyone who tells you that it is a crime to drop a year. In the end, what matters is that you consider all your options well and do well. A happy mind is always capable to do wonders.\
— The writer is Managing Director, Pratham Test Prep
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