How To Make The Most Of Your Gap Year

Knowing what to do after high school or college can be difficult. And I am not only talking about choosing a subject, a major, a direction you wish to pursue your studies in. You may want to take a break from the books and do something for a year. You may want to earn some money and travel a bit, you may want to volunteer abroad, or prepare for your future studies.

However, you may be a bit fretful about taking an entire year off. Will you be able to get back to your previous routines when you get back home? What will your gap year look like on your application forms? In fact, recent research has shown that a gap year is starting to attract the attention from top universities, in case you have done more with yours than drink the nights away.

Here is how to make the most of your twelve months out of school.

How To Make The Most Of Your Gap Year

Work where you want to study

If your first choice for your gap year is to find some work, whether it is in your home town or if you are looking to go abroad, look for jobs within the field you want to study in in a year’s time. You will thus be gaining valuable experience, that will both help you in your future studies, and help you land a job once you are out of school. Even if you are just volunteering, such an experience will look great on your resume.

Have a unique experience

If you would rather spend a part of your gap year on holiday, i.e. not working, you shouldn’t just go on the kind of holiday you can take any other time in life. Use this year to gather as many experiences as you can, and see the world. There are certain trips that are most suited for you while you are young and wide-eyed, and can embrace different cultures with an open mind. For example, why not book a last minute flight out of Dublin, and go see a country you have always wanted to see. Now is the perfect time to do so.

Keep track of what you do

Whether you ultimately decide to travel or work or study, make sure you keep a record of your gap year, especially the volunteering hours you put in. References from the people you have met along the way will speak volumes of the work you have done, and can also be used in your interview. They will show both your future school, and your future employer, what you have been doing, and how you have grown as a person, and why you should be the ideal candidate.

Make sure you end all your relationships on a positive note – you never know when you might be able to use the connections you have made in the future.

Learn a freelance-worthy skill

You can also choose to use your year off to learn a skill that may not necessarily be related to the field you plan to pursue career-wise. With the rise of the Internet, you can pretty much work from anywhere, if you have the right skillset, so honing your talents in writing, math, or coding can be the perfect choice for your gap year. You can learn something brand new, or can build on the knowledge you already have, and this can be your way to pay your tuition, or to earn some extra money while still in school.

Learn more about who you are

Finally, use the time you have on your hands, without the burdens of daily obligations, schoolwork and commitments, to get to know yourself better. What do you like and dislike, where do you want to get in life, what pushes your buttons and what makes you get up in the morning. Soul searching in your twenties is nothing like the getting to know yourself you’ll be doing later on in life, but it will help you face the world in five years’ time. Only if you know yourself can you expect success to come to you. Don’t choose a major without knowing what you want to do with it later, and how it can help you reach your ultimate goal.

A gap year should be a fun and exciting time, a time to prepare for the future, and enjoy the present. Chose an experience you are most drawn to, and have the best time you possibly can!