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    I originally thought I wanted to go on a gap year after year 13, before uni, but I thought I would have more time to save money, and potentially more freedom (in terms of time and commitments) if I took a gap year after uni. What do you think?
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    I'd go before, why would you have more freedom after uni, surely you could only have less :confused: You'll want to look for work etc
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    I really wish I had done a gap year before uni, it's probably one of the main regrets I have about my entire time at university. It was always the plan and then I got obsessed with UCAS and the idea of university and I decided that I'd do it afterwards. But now I'm going to be a final year in September and I'm looking at post grad applications as I feel as though I'm now 22 and I've already spent 4 years of my life dancing around the world being a student so now I should perhaps wake up and get into the real world. I also have no money and a £25,000 student loan debt which doesn't help matters.

    I'd go before then if/when you get the travel bug you've got all of your university summers to get it out of your system, and also you've got the chance to do it again once you've graduated if you really wanted to and funds were permitting you to do so, whereas if you don't do it now there is a chance you might not end up doing exactly what you want for a year.
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    Both.
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    I'm just coming to the end of a gap year in Australia and would definitely recommend taking a gap year before uni (it's been the best year of my life!) as after it's hard to find the time/money after 3 or 4 years of studying and student loans. But saying that loads of people I've met this year have been in their mid 20's and have taken a year off after uni.
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    I went before but I'm going after as well though I've always thought that going before is better considering the loans/going into the real world after uni sort of thing. I also think I gained a lot more independence by having one before uni, it prepared me for living away from home and meeting lots and lots of new people.
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    Hmm I've just reread what I wrote and I sound so old, grey and pessimistic. Don't get me wrong, despite not having a gap year I've still managed to travel for all of my uni summers and have been to god knows how many countries for extended periods of time whilst I've been a student so in most respects I've travelled much much more than someone who just did a gap year, so it is possible. But all of my travelling has been limited to 4 months away at a time whereas if I'd done a pre uni gap year I could have gone for a full year and now I don't think I have the money to go away for so long because paying off my student debt is constantly at the back of my mind now I'm approaching graduation.
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    I went on a gap year before uni, and I think it was a good decision. Now I'm approaching the end of uni I'm in massive debt and will want to start my career.

    During my gap year I was living at home, making money for 6 months, then spent that money around the world for another 6 months, breaking even at the end.

    (Original post by oxymoronic)
    I'd go before then if/when you get the travel bug you've got all of your university summers to get it out of your system.
    I agree with everything you said apart from this - you never get the travel bug out of your system! That's the one bad thing about travelling before uni, you can't stop wanting to go travelling some more!
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    (Original post by El Doctoré de Mystéro)
    I agree with everything you said apart from this - you never get the travel bug out of your system! That's the one bad thing about travelling before uni, you can't stop wanting to go travelling some more!
    I know, I know, I know... I spend my life travelling, have done since I was 17 despite not having a gap year. But I think using uni summers is a good way to get "big" travel things done, I've done things whilst I've been a student to get them done and dusted before I graduate as I don't think I'll really have chance again. Okay, I think once you start travelling you never really stop but I think the more summers you have during uni to play with once you've got into travelling, the closer you can get to calming down the travel thing as it's going to have to be calmed at some point as you don't really get 4 months off to travel every year when you have a job!
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    Before is soooo much better. It helps you grow up more before uni, so it makes that easier to adjust to. But the biggest thing is that you have more commitments after uni not less, and it feels harder to justify the time out once you have a degree which everyone tells you, you should be using to get a proper job and earn good money.

    Also, thinking that you'll have more money at the end of uni than before is just pure insanity! I don't know anyone that hasn't ended uni without making full use of the student account overdraft and of course you have student debts that will sit there earning intrest while you're off having fun.

    Take the bull by the horns and go now!!
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    Haha I think "both" was the best answer I read.

    You can't compare the two... as before you'll be a different person to the one after uni.

    You'll have changed quite a lot.

    I actually left the country for two years at the age of 26. I didn't have the money to go before uni... or after as I was paying off debts. It took me a long time to save and plan, but I managed to save about 10k (plus 6k working in australia).

    I think if I had gone before uni, I would have gone for the wrong reasons (this doesn't mean everyone would have). When I actually left I really wanted to go. I wanted to go to experience different cultures, languages, sights and sounds.... I was really interested in that aspect. If I'd gone at 18, I probably would have just partied on the beach in australia.

    So I think they would be two very different experiences due to the number of years in between.

    Whichever though you'll have an amazing experience.

    "and it feels harder to justify the time out once you have a degree which everyone tells you, you should be using to get a proper job and earn good money."

    I wouldn't say this is strictly true... I went away at 26... and I'm going again at 29... it's all depends on what your priorities are. I've also had good jobs and even when I was traveling it meant I could earn much more on the road in order to carry on traveling.

    Just thought I'd put forward a different point of view!

    Thanks,

    Paul
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    I dont know anyone who takes a gap year before uni doubt your parents will allow it.
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    I regretted not having a gap year before uni and so I am trying to have one now I have graduated.

    The main pro that I have found with having one after is that its much easier to save money to travel since so many more jobs are open to you as a graduate. I've got a fairly well paid job in a private hospital which I'm doing just till February, which I would never have been able to get before uni. I'm in about £22k of student debt which does weigh on my mind a little, but I wouldn't let it put you off a post uni gap year entirely as it doesn't really effect you that much... they won't start taking it off you until you are earning quite a lot and the interest level is extremely low. You are going to be paying it back for much of your life anyway so 1 more year will make little difference. Even a £1k overdraft can be paid off extremely quickly if you plan to work full time for a bit before going travelling.

    However, once you have graduated no matter how many times you say you are on a gap year you have to put up with people (particularly parents) nagging you about why you havn't got a 'proper' job yet.
    Also, I think it would have been much easier to live at home saving money to travel before uni. Living with friends for 3 years and then moving back home feels like such a restricting loss of independence now... Just hoping it will be worth it for the travelling!

    Hope this helps
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    I'm planning on both!
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    I'd go before...I reckon if nothing else, you need a break mentally. You've just finished god knows how many years of school and are about to embark on another few years of study...doing that all in one go...well, didn't appeal to me. lol.

    Sooo, I took a year out between school and uni and it was one of the best decisions I ever made! I grew up a lot in that year and came to uni a lot more mature than I would have been if I'd have gone straight from school.

    I worked for most of the year, and spent a few months traveling...made some amazing friends, who I am still in touch with now, 5 years on, and I caught the travel bug, big time! I love to travel, especially round the USA as I have a lot of friends there now.

    But yeah, a gap year basically gives you a chance to get away for a year, mature, find yourself (corny as it sounds!) and you'll come back and be able to face uni with a much better/more rested attitude
 
 
 
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