Can’t decide between studying in 2020 or taking a gap year? We’ve got four good reasons why, despite the Corona situation, this year is still a great year to kick-start your career.
At the start of 2020, it wasn’t simply “new year, new me,” but “new decade, new me.” For many, this year’s fireworks marked the beginning of a decisive new chapter. We contemplated not only where we’d be in ten years, but what we’d have achieved. Full of possibility, some of us began to crystallise life-changing decisions and set big dreams in motion. We never imagined that such urgency could so quickly turn to uncertainty.
If you’ve spent much of the lockdown period asking, “now what?,” you’re certainly not alone. Prospective students are now having to make the tricky choice between taking an impromptu gap year or enrolling in a potentially non-traditional learning experience this autumn.
At Catalyst, we’re taking applications as normal as we prepare for all eventualities to unfold over the coming months. Since Germany is statistically one of the safest countries in which to weather the virus, we are confident that we’ll be able to deliver our courses as usual from September 2020.
Germany has already significantly eased its lockdown restrictions. For example, local schools in the Berlin and the Brandenburg area will no longer have to observe the 1.5 metre distance rule after the summer holidays. Plus, as per the latest travel restriction information, EU and Schengen citizens are now free to travel into the country without border checks or self-quarantine. Non-EU citizens will also be allowed to enter Germany for study purposes.
Whatever happens, we’re positive that 2020 is still a great year to begin that exciting new chapter. Why? Read on for four reasons why you should start studying this year.
In order for a gap year to be valuable, it needs to be educational and ideally have a structured component
Gap years have traditionally involved going abroad. However, since travel restrictions are ongoing in many countries – especially those which are yet to flatten the curve – a compromise on location is required. That’s not to mention that a great number of gap year programmes and volunteering opportunities have been cancelled for the foreseeable future.
In light of the current uncertainty, a “year off” might seem like a good option regardless. However, as quoted by the BBC, Joshua Kim and Edward Maloney – authors of Learning Innovation and The Future Of Higher Education – point out that in order for a gap year to be valuable, it needs to be educational and ideally have a structured component.
That is extremely difficult to achieve right now. Whether you look at it in terms of your CV or your personal development, an unplanned and unstructured gap year is essentially a “leave of absence.” The last thing you want to do is lose your momentum.
We get it: deciding between an unfruitful gap year and non-traditional study may feel like being stuck between a rock and a hard place. However, to the question of whether you’d still get value for money out of school, we couldn’t agree more with Kim and Maloney. “While the experience will be different,” they say, “those who are committed to their education can probably take advantage of unique opportunities.”
Large numbers of young people are employed in the sectors most affected by the lockdown
As The Guardian reports, under 25s have been hardest hit by the COVID-19 economic fallout. According to the British Resolution Foundation, one in three young people have either been sent home for a leave of absence or lost their jobs completely. Furthermore, 35% of young employees have had their pay cut.
Of course, this story is not unique to Britain. Across the globe, large numbers of young people are employed in the sectors most affected by the lockdown – such as leisure, retail and hospitality. Even with lockdown measures starting to ease in some countries, now is not a good time to be looking for a temporary job to bridge the gap between studies.
“Even before corona, our courses deliberately put limitations on our students so that they could learn to rise above them”
Be it procrastinating on your goals or riding out a pandemic, Catalyst’s motto always applies: don’t wait to create! Nobody said life as a creative would be easy. In fact, it is often in the most challenging moments that we truly start to think outside the box and, as a result, develop rapidly.
As Film Production Certificate lead Malachi Rempen says, “even before corona, our courses deliberately put limitations on our students so that they could learn to rise above them. We don’t know for sure what the future holds, but what we do know is that the fundamental skills of project management, professionalism, teamwork, and storytelling are relevant under any circumstances. Training those skills will always be at the center of our offer, no matter what’s going on in the world. We might have to adapt and change the details as we go along, but that’s what we’ve always done: guide our craft around the rocks to reach our destination.”
We’re not going to let this pandemic stop us from striving towards our dreams. Choose to study this year and, when all of this is over, you won’t be awaking from a creative slumber, but moving forward at full steam.
We don’t know how long it will be until life returns to normal, but that doesn’t mean we should put our passions on hold
Would you rather be twiddling your thumbs or tinkering with a mixing desk or modular synth? Would you sooner be watching films or making or starring in them? We don’t know how long it will be until life returns to normal, but that doesn’t mean we should put our passions on hold.
In fact, now that life’s distractions are at a minimum, it’s the perfect time to go deep into what you love and explore the far reaches of your imagination. The bonus is that you’ll also come out with valuable experience, an extensive portfolio and a qualification!