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  • Writer's pictureAlmeera Eman

Navigating Gap Year Stigma with CanGap Ambassador Claire

Updated: Jul 15, 2022

Claire - 00:01

Hey guys, welcome back to the Canadian Gap Year Association YouTube channel. My name is Claire and today I'm going to be talking to you about something that a lot of Gappers, including myself, have faced: Gap Year Stigma.

Oftentimes when I tell people that I'm taking a Gap Year, I am met with a lot of concern and not excitement, and one of the reasons is because of Gap Year stigma.

So what is it and what does it occur? There's a long standing belief that people who aren't in education are not on a good path in themselves, at least when we're young.

In a world where we need so much experience to even get an entry level job, taking one year off of education isn't such a bad idea. Once you're able to put this into words and articulate the value that the Gap Year has personally for you, it may help the other person to understand what you're going through and your decision to take a Gap Year.

Claire - 00:55

#2 is that people are lazy about taking a Gap Year and that people don't want to go to university.

They've made the grades to get there, but now they've just decided not to because they don't want to.

In actuality, it's not such a bad idea to be taking a bit more time to discover what you want in life and while a Gap Year can be a lazy time where we aren't being as much as we're doing in school, it can also be a wonderful time for discovery and exploration.

Another reason that Gap Year stigma exists is because oftentimes when people say they're taking a Gap Year, there's this huge gray area and the person who there's telling mind that this is what a gap here is because the person who tells them doesn't give them a plan about what they're going to be doing, and I think this is a pretty realistic thing.

Claire - 01:45

When I decided to take my Gap Year, I didn't exactly have a plan for what I was doing, and so people didn't know what I was doing.

Have a set plan people, especially our parents, have a set plan in their heads as much as they don't like to admit it of what they want us to be in the future, what they want our future to look like, what they've been planning for and to have this time that is this gray area in their head exist, there's a lot of places for things to go wrong and that's why I believe that one of the best ways to combat stigma is creating a plan for what your gap, you can look like.

It doesn't have to be a super detailed plan, it just has to be something that will give not only your parents Peace of Mind, but also you.

An idea of what this plan could look like is really up to your imagination. It can be taking a course online, it can be traveling the world, it can be a bunch of things.

Claire - 02:43

Essentially, if you're able to explain the who, what, why, where, and when of your Gap Year, then you'll be able to come up with a solid plan.

The next thing I would suggest is to put yourself in the other person's shoes. Try to think about some of the misconceptions they might have about Gap Years and then address them in a way that shows them you care about their concern. By putting yourself in the person who you're telling shoes, you may be able to better understand the experience and the emotions that they may be feeling when you tell them you're taking a Gap Year.

I think a lot of the times what people who are taking a gap you are met with is fear, uncertainty and disappointment. If you can proactively help alleviate these emotions by giving your plan and telling them all the things you're going to be doing on your Gap Year, you'll be able to calm these feats.

Claire - 03:32

Let's recap. In order to combat Gap Year stigma, you need to know what it is, know how to tell them, make a plan and finally be confident. A Gap Year is your choice and you should own it.

If you've enjoyed the studio and want to see more, don't forget to click the like and subscribe button for more videos from the Canadian Gap Year Association YouTube channel.

I'm Claire and this was Gap Year stigma.

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