What is a gap year ? Nothing but a great opportunity to see a new horizon, breathe a new air and earn new skills. When you go on a gap year, you basically stop working or studying for a while and usually travel to a foreign country.
Don't get it wrong though. A gap year isn't a useless year you spend doing nothing. On the contrary, it's a year (but it can last less than a year though, a few months for example) where you're exepected to be very active so you can earn benefits in the end. It's supposed to be a useful experience, bringing something to you. There are so many types of gap years, everyone can find what suits them the most. You can, for example keep studying but in a foreign country thanks to an exchange program (and yeah, it can be a gap year despite what some people think). You can work as well or even volonteer to help people in need and environment in some countries. How could someone possibly tell you this is useless ? I personally think this is one of the most beautiful and rewarding things ever. And obviously important. Supporting people who truly need your help while getting to discover a new culture, a new way of living, of thinking, sharing something. It's very enriching. Besides, you may find your vocation during a gap year. Experience something new, something you had never thought of and suddenly think : "...What was I waiting for during all these years ?"
That's why I highly desagree with people claiming that gap years are meant for "lazy people" (and there are a lot of them, in France anyway). A gap year doesn't give you rest, it's not like you're taking holidays. It's an opportunity to experience new things, temporarely putting an end to your boring ordinary life to do something new
I think gap years also allow you to besome more independent in the most wonderful way. When you're on your own in the streets of an unknown city in a foreign country, you have to find a way to manage and take care of yourself. It can only be extremely uselful cause life is not sweet and is not waiting to tell what to do and which decisions to take like your family probably used to do. You can become less shy, more extroverted, more open-minded as well... By exploring the world, you will probably find out that the world doesn't revolve around you and that there is so much more out there.
In the end, the advantages of a gap year are many and you don't only get to earn new skills but also to improve yourself, learn something about the world and above all about yourself. Perhaps we all need to have this sort of exeperience at least once in our lives (if we can afford it anyway). I have never really thought of doing a gap year and I don't plan to at the moment tbh but it appears to be very interesting to me and perhaps I'll go for it and try one day. I'm really interested in studies and travel as well. See the world, going far away from your life for a moment... It must feel so good. And I'll get to see and discover so many things I don't know yet. Cause the world is precisely full of things we don't even know, full of wonders that deserve to be seen. It would be shame not to try, wouldn't it ? Especially if we have such a wonderful opportunity.
But that is just my opinion, of course !
Thanks for reading!