Letter from Purvi Shah

June 2013

Dear Reader,

Today, a ‘gap year’ has been described as a modern day rite of passage and opportunities to not only take advantage of the natural break between college and or further education, but to unplug from the everyday classroom.

One of the significant aspects of my sixteen years of practice as a Psychologist in various schools locally and internationally has been of enabling, assisting young minds to discover their purpose, potential with a great emphasis on their emotional wellbeing.

In their academic journeys, students have shared that for them ‘gap year’ was about getting in touch with ‘what i can, what I want to do with myself, to ignite a desire for change, awake a passion for learning.  This ‘year on’ attitude exposes a young adult to multiple fields by providing a chance to reboot into a new style of learning, to embark on real work and world experiences and to gain a better sense of identity and self confidence.

In my opinion, a gap year is a very essential process globally, for students of all kinds of age groups, career paths and cultural backgrounds.

However, I do recommend the young adults to choose, to seek opportunities in the gap year that will help one grow as a person, experiences that will truly challenge one emotionally, physically, and intellectually.     A gap year can afford the time to travel, volunteer, or meet personal goals one may not have had time to achieve otherwise.

The whole point of the gap year(s) experience is to grow up-to strike out on One’s own, and be forced to survive by one’s own wits.

As my friend puts it, a gap year is not just about extending one’s adolescence; it allows the time for purposeful and informed decision making.  From the top Ivy League Universities to private college consultants, experts in higher education are saying that taking a gap year can do nothing but benefit high school graduates. I urge other School and College Counsellors in India and abroad to encourage, advocate the ‘year on’ philosophy in their organizations with students.

I can officially say that there are definite advantages to taking a gap year worth considering.

Wishing You Well!!!!

Ms. Purvi Shah


Clinical and Counselling Psychologist
Member of Australian Psychological Society, MAPS
Pioneer member of Counsellors Association of India, CAI

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