Not happy with where you are after matric? There's a gap year for that

Some young adults fresh out of matric might have no idea about which way to go or if they're ready for the world they step into. A gap year can help with that.

FILE: MatricA gap year is a wide range of opportunities for people, from working to volunteering, or learning a new skill. Picture: Bertram Malgas/Eyewitness News

JOHANNESBURG - As matriculants receive their final exam results with excitement, there are children who don't know what to do after school. For some, the path to tertiary education or into employment is clear. Others might not score the marks they hoped for or they feel they can't make a decision about their next steps as yet.

Warriors Academy founder Rudi Viljoen believes that one set of school marks should not define you or your future. He said on the Relebogile Mabotja show on 702 on Tuesday that there were important things that could be achieved during a gap year, should a matriculant decide on that option.

Viljoen said many tertiary learners drop out after half a year of studying. Staying at home can give them self-esteem problems as they try to figure out what to do while their parents have expectations of them.

"It's an incredible world we live in but on a mental level, you need to have that skill. Self belief is an important ingredient, and that's one thing most of our young people today lack."

A gap year is a wide range of opportunities for people, from working to volunteering, or learning a new skill.

"I would strongly recommend that most young people today take some time off to truly figure out what is it they want to do."

Viljoen also cautioned against those who might get too comfortable while taking a break.

"One has to be careful that you don't fall into a trap of taking a gap year and laying on the coach and sitting on TikTok the whole day. You have to be really focused on what you want to achieve in that gap year," he said.

This is what he said would be important:

  • It must be structured and not in such a way that it becomes one big party

  • Develop your mental wellness

  • Be careful of leaving children where they are completely on their own

  • There needs to be management and control with expected outcomes

  • Must be realistic of the outcomes

Some of the outcomes you should consider:

  • Develop a strong emotional skillset

  • Career guidance

  • Fitness

  • Who am I? What are my personal values? What do I want to do with my life?

These outcomes, he said, would help young adults thrive in the workspace or tertiary institution.

"When you plan your gap year, do proper research, talk to the right people and make the right choices. It's not a year off; it's not a holiday. There needs to be proper skills developed during that time. It needs to be a purpose-driven mission to develop that person," he said.