Tom on Taking a Gap Year

Jaitmathang Land (Dederang Victoria)
Bachelor of Business Management 
Travel, marketing and advertising, soccer

I took a gap year and here’s why you should too

Growing up in Dederang

I grew up and am still living in a place called Dederang. It’s near the Albury-Wodonga border, though more towards Falls Creek in the bush. Right now, I’m in my last year of uni doing a Bachelor of Business Management, majoring in marketing. Outside of uni, I’ve been the manager of the local pub, and I’ve been a soccer coach in Myrtleford for the men’s reserves. 

Year 12 to gap year

In 2017 I graduated from year 12. I was pretty burnt out after year 12 so I decided to take a gap year and work for a bit. I got a job at the local pub and worked there full time. I think working full time made the transition out of highschool easier because it meant I was getting up and doing something everyday. It also set me up well financially. I was able to travel around a lot – I made a lot of trips to Melbourne, went to festivals, had a holiday in Queensland and even went overseas a couple of times. The job and the gap year were both great for all that stuff.

Studying business 

In 2019 I started studying a Bachelor of Business Management, majoring in Marketing. Before the COVID-19 pandemic I planned on moving to Melbourne to work because there are a lot of opportunities in the marketing and advertising world. In the country these opportunities can be a bit limited. While a bonus of working in the country is learning from people who have been in the industry for a long time, you probably won’t get the opportunity to work internationally as it’s all very local. Working in the country can be a bit of a roadblock because it could take 10 years in a firm in the country to get the same level of success as in the city. I’m considering moving to Brisbane for this reason.

Everyone should consider a gap year

I’ve done a lot of public speaking events with the Alpine Shire about taking a gap year. I’ve spoken to a lot of year 12s at schools or at award nights. There were so many people who had never considered doing a gap year. It is a pretty remarkable thing to see someone start to consider a pathway they haven’t previously thought about. A lot of people go to uni straight away because they feel like they’ll miss out on things or be left behind if they wait. But I think it’s important to t learn more about the world and mature before jumping into anything.

Advice to year 12 students 

It’s not the end of the world if the score isn’t what you want, it’s not going to ruin your life. So if someone in year 12 is struggling with the amount of pressure, then I say take a gap year. Take a year, take two years. No one has ever said you can’t take 15 years as a gap year. Do whatever you want, make yourself happy. That’s what I advise. 


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