7 March 2016

20 worst things about gap years

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!

  1. You realise how many people live in poverty and how crap that is.
  2. Something leaking in your backpack.
  3. All your friends who haven't got the money / guts / time to do it will be jealous of you.
  4. The jealous people will make snide comments.
  5. Airport lounges.
  6. 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).
  7. Monsoons.
  8. Some things are never going to be as good as when you were on your gap year. Like proper Thai food, for example.
  9. Squat toilets.
  10. Returning to work/uni, British weather and there being nothing on telly can be a bit of a comedown.
  11. Montezuma's revenge.
  12. Some people at work or college might be dismissive of your experience, even though it's given you loads of useful skills. 
  13. Melty chocolate. 
  14. You'll discover a place you want to go, or a thing you want to do, when it's too late.
  15. Racism (yeah, it's weird being the minority when you're not used to it).
  16. Some things – like Coca-Cola, the Premiership and Piers bloody Morgan – are very difficult to get away from.
  17. Rubbish tea. 
  18. You're making a big difference, but sometimes it doesn't feel quite big enough.
  19. Other gappers.
  20. 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.