"While her peers were mulling over which university to choose and what to major in, Ms Sim Yan Ying was undertaking creative roles and production responsibilities in the theatre industry.
Having graduated from Hwa Chong Institution after her A levels in 2013, she shelved her pursuit of a degree to explore her passion in theatre. "Working with local theatre companies allowed me to experience different roles such as acting and stage managing. This deepened my understanding of theatre as an art and as a profession. I am more focused in university now because I have a clearer sense of purpose, and I know what I want to achieve," said the first-year drama student at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts.
Ms Sim, 20, is among a growing group of youth who are taking a gap year before university. Among the "gappers" whom The Straits Times spoke to, reasons for taking a gap year include volunteering, gaining work experience and travelling."
Ng Keng Gene
The Straits Times