It appears that students in South Africa believe that gap years are beneficial to finding their path in life. As previously mentioned, more South African students should take a gap year as they could find it beneficial if they are confused with their path in life. The purpose of this research report is to investigate whether or not students believe that other students should take a gap year between high school and university. Interviews were conducted to target first year students at the University of Johannesburg (UJ) as it provides researchers with interpersonal communication to guide the students through the interview questions. The research found that the majority of the students interviewed felt that taking a gap year benefited them in terms of self-development. As a result, it supported the theory that students should adopt the British custom of taking a gap year. Therefore it showed that students are more likely to benefit from a gap year as it helps some people find the correct path in life.
General Introduction, Background Information and Contextualisation
This research report will seek to determine if teenagers should adopt the British custom of taking a “gap year” between high school and university. The report will further discuss the personal experiences and opinions of first year students at the University of Johannesburg about taking a gap year between high school and university. This report will firstly investigate why teenagers may feel they need to take a gap year between high school and university. Secondly, the report will determine the teenager’s attitudes toward a gap year. Lastly, the report will assess if gap years affect teenagers grades at university negatively or positively. To conduct this research interviews will be performed among five first year students at the University of Johannesburg (UJ) in which I will collect information about their view and opinion on the top of a gap year.
A gap year is known as a time out to travel between life stages. It is a time in which teenagers or students disengage from curricular education or work and embark on different life journeys such as traveling, volunteering or working abroad. Children may find it difficult to go from high school to university in the space of a few months of completing their school career (Blanche, Durrheim & Painter, 2006). Teenagers today believe in finding who they are and which path they want to take after high school. For some, they are fortunate enough to discover this whilst still in high school, but that does not mean they are ahead of the teenagers who struggle to decide what to do and where to go (James, 2012). Taking a “gap year” off between high school and university has become a prevalent option among many students. This time off provides a break after many years of formal study. Some students use this time to travel around the world, others volunteer and still others begin working. The idea behind each of these activities is to do something hands-on and refreshing, which enables young people to learn more about themselves and their place in the world around them (Stiles, 2011). Teenagers are now seeking their paths by visiting different countries and experiencing different journeys in order to find themselves and where they want to go. Europe is a main attraction for gap year students and this report will help the reader understand why out of all continents this is the most popular for a gap year. For the purpose of this research report, gap years will be defined as the manner in which teenagers feel as if they can travel and find themselves for a year between high school and university. In order to accurately gauge teenagers’ attitudes toward gap years and its effectiveness on teenagers, this research report will undertake interviews with first and second year students on the University of Johannesburg’s (UJ’s) Auckland Park (APK) campus as well as the...
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