Gap Year as a Way to Achieve Academic Goals in Sociology

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My interest in Sociology began when I studied it during my A-Level programme. As I appreciated learning to understand the patterns of social relationships and social evolution, I could see how the study to sociology touches every part of our lives. I love analysing the conflict between various theories and learning about their different perspectives of society. Being born in Poland and living there for the first 6 years of my life, I noticed how divergent the cultures and lifestyles are on a global scale. An example of this is religion – in Poland, the function of religion is used to affirm common values and beliefs. Only after studying sociology I’ve understood why this is and I am excited about looking at it more profoundly during my degree.

It appears to me now that my A-level combination provides me with an excellent range of skills and information. Studying sociology as well as economics at a-level has made me understand that these subjects have close relations since they are both social sciences. Economic factors such as production, consumption, and distribution of wealth play a fundamental part in the development of society and individuals. I am pleased that I decided to study these subjects at A-level as I see economics as a section of sociology, of which I now have a sufficient understanding. Mathematics has also benefited me as it taught me how to collect as well as analyse empirical data which will be valuable in research.

I try to keep up to date with ongoing events, following the news and reading about the current affairs has extended my knowledge about social issues in modern society. This is also why I’m becoming more curious about the impact that media has on our lives. I have completed the bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award. The project has helped me develop some very useful skills: teamwork, self-motivation, and communication. As I was nominated to be the leader of the group, the expedition has also helped me develop leadership ability.

In my spare time, I like to go for long-distance runs. I used to run cross county races for Cambridge and Coleridge. Now I run as a way of releasing stress and tension. I also like to watch documentaries, the favourite that I have seen recently is on North Korea, which demonstrated the power of tyranny when a leader acts outside the rule of law and showed how this affected the entire population.

I decided to take a gap year with a plan of exploring south-east Asia (Thailand, Indonesia, and Vietnam). My main objective is to participate in and analyse the different cultures that these countries have and compare them to European ones. Studying sociology has encouraged me to take a gap year as it not only expanded my interest in trying to understand how different societies function but also to go and see it with my own eyes. I have also started a job as a receptionist and kids club coach at David Lloyd, working here has already made me develop stronger communication skills in conjunction with patience. I assume that taking a gap year will help me advance a variety of appropriate skills such as critical thinking, ability to perform satisfactory research as well as open-mindedness along with persistence – which are all essential in studying sociology.

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