This document is a newspaper article from The Irish Independent. It was published on March 5, 2008 and was written by Kim Bielenberg. The article is entitled The big issue: mind the gap year. This text deals with the topic of gap year in Ireland. We must keep in mind that after finishing secondary school, an increasing number of students worldwide choose to take a “gap year” that is to say a “year out” to travel, work or do community service in their own country or abroad. Throughout the article, the journalist highlights the controversial aspect of gap-years as we can see from the title “The big issue”. It seems to be greatly advantageous for young people to go on a gap year. However, encouraging them to do it can also have a certain detrimental effect on their life and future. To what extent can we say that going on a gap year is a positive experience? What are the advantages and drawbacks of gap years? First, I am going to analyze the strengths of such an experience and then I am going to concentrate on the weaknesses.
PART ONE: ADVANTAGES
PART TWO: DRAWBACKS
In conclusion, whether to take a year-long break or not is an individual decision. Each young person should consider his or her motivations carefully and decide on what's most desirable. Time is a precious resource and people of all ages, including young people, should treat it with respect. I was particularly interested by this text because it revealed the various aspects of gap years, the positive and the negative sides. I can now measure the pros and cons of such a decision and make my own opinion. Personally, I think that I will go on a gap year because I really want to learn to be independent and I think it will enrich my experience. I know that I am not going to misuse that year lolling about because I have goals in life such as having access to higher education, helping people in need and becoming bilingual. So, I will never waste a year and I will try to make the most of it!