Gap years are brilliant, aren't they?
Whether you're 18 or 80, setting off around the world, doing a bit of volunteering here, a bit of TEFL there, and the odd course or job as you go, is a fantastic experience.
But is it really? Here are the 20 worst things about taking a gap year - from people who've done it!
- You realise how many people live in poverty and how crap that is.
- Something leaking in your backpack.
- All your friends who haven't got the money / guts / time to do it will be jealous of you.
- The jealous people will make snide comments.
- Airport lounges.
- You'll miss out on stuff back home (although if it's the new series of another bloody talent show, you won't miss much).
- Some things are never going to be as good as when you were on your gap year. Like proper Thai food, for example.
- Squat toilets.
- Returning to work/uni, British weather and there being nothing on telly can be a bit of a comedown.
- Montezuma's revenge.
- Some people at work or college might be dismissive of your experience, even though it's given you loads of useful skills.
- Melty chocolate.
- You'll discover a place you want to go, or a thing you want to do, when it's too late.
- Racism (yeah, it's weird being the minority when you're not used to it).
- Some things – like Coca-Cola, the Premiership and Piers bloody Morgan – are very difficult to get away from.
- Rubbish tea.
- You're making a big difference, but sometimes it doesn't feel quite big enough.
- Other gappers.
- You want to go again!
If that hasn't put you off and you're a grown-up itching to take a gap year, search our directory of awesome projects here.