-More opportunities to live fun life (travel, take up hobbies) before re-joining the study grind.
-You can save up for uni expenses (rent, partying, HECS, food, fuel for car etc) with a full-time job during that year
-You might ceebs going to uni after a whole year of not studying
-All your friends are a year above you and would 'leave you behind', so you'll have to start afresh socially when you go back to uni. (extremely hard for me, meeting people gives me anxiety -_- )
Honestly if you have things planned for your gap year such as volunteer work, travelling or just doing something that you are passionate about there are no downsides. However if you just want the year off because year 12 was just too much for you then I guess there are downsides. Just remember that it's your life and your life is what you make of it. You can not take a gap year and have a great year and you can take one and have a great year too. It's mostly about perspectives. When you're in uni, nobody would care about your atar, your age and etc but I guess you might feel weird hanging out with people a year younger than you in uni.
I would like to take a gap year to travel and have inspiration for my desired career. While I'm overseas I want to get a job and maybe live there for about 6 months and then return for Uni and get back into it
I think regardless of the various advantages and disadvantages of taking a gap year as already highlighted by various posters on this thread, to make a gap year worthwhile and successful, one needs to make sure it is well planned beforehand-i.e. not an impulsive decision and that one has the self-discipline and consciousness to be able to train themselves back to the rigours/demands of uni studies.
Gap year(s) are great my time away essentially planned out my career I found what I loved doing, got work experience and now I'm doing it. At the end of the day when you have a degree in a competitive environment experience is what the employer is looking for not who got all HDs unless comparing people with no experience in the field. Gap years can prevent the harsh uninformed decision many people make straight from school doing some useless degree because it sounds smart but job prospects are few and far between. I've come back to studying more prepared and motivated than ever before the only negative is being stuck in classes full of 17/18 year olds... that is a big disadvantage IMO.