University

What To Do With Your Gap Year

There comes a time in every student’s life when they would rather do anything than study. They feel overwhelmed by the choices they need to make, and by the road they have traveled, so they could benefit a lot from distancing themselves from their studies, and taking a year off.

In fact, a gap year can be the perfect time to reflect on your past and future education, the career path you are looking to take, and gather some experiences you might otherwise never have the chance to, well, experience. You can devote a year to volunteering, traveling, or doing an internship in the industry you later wish to join.

There are some potential pitfalls to be aware of – you may find it difficult to get right back to studying once you do get back, or you might be worried that a year off will look bad on your resume. There is no need to fret though – a gap year is recognized by most universities, and it can even make a difference in your interview, so make sure you use it to the fullest!

What To Do With Your Gap Year

Find a Job

This may not quite sound like what you want to do with your year off, but finding a job or an internship in the field you wish to one day work in can give you a significant leg up when the time comes to actually start working. A year is quite a long time, and interning can teach you a lot about the practical side of your future career, and you can even realize if it’s truly what you want to do in life. Volunteering can also be an amazing experience, again in the field you are planning to study in. A hands-on approach is greatly appreciated by employers, and having some previous work experience can mean a lot in the long run.

Embrace the World

A gap year can be the perfect time to do something you might never again have the time or the means to do. Once you are out of school, you will start looking for a job as soon as you can, and chances are you will never again have a whole year off to do what you’d like. This is the perfect time to learn something about the world, travel, and get to know yourself better. Walking the Camino de Santiago offers the perfect opportunity to spend time in a different country, out on the open road, meet different kinds of people, and have time to think about where you want to go and why. It can be a life-changing adventure.

Keep a Journal

Writing about your experiences will not only help your future employer get a clearer picture of who you are and what your goals are, you will also be able to look back on it one day and see how far you’ve come. Make sure you have everyone you work with write you a recommendation, so that you can prove to the uni and to your future boss where you have been, and what you have learned. Making a scrapbook of your gap year can also be tons of fun, and a great way to commemorate the time.

Learn a New Skill

In a world where we can all work form the comfort of our own home, having a skill you can fall back on can be a lifesaver. With so many freelancing hubs online, you can always find a job to tide you over and help you pay your tuition or books, and who knows, you may once even wish to turn it into a career. This skill doesn’t necessarily have to be tightly tied to your major – you can just do something you’re good at, or something you have always wanted to learn, but have not had the time to focus on.

A gap year can be the perfect time to get to know yourself more, reflect on your choice of major and think about the road you want to take. Formal education is not as important as it used to be a few decades ago, and the skills you possess will mean a lot more in the real world. With the world shrinking every day, you can now choose to do whatever you’d like in any corner of the world. If you would like to become a digital nomad, you sure can – and you gap year is the time to figure all this out.