For many around the country, final exams are quickly approaching. A major chapter in your life is about to end, and you’re not really sure what to do next. You’ve that university isn’t for you just yet – maybe you’re not sure what you want to study or where you want to go – and so you’re going to take a year off. You’re not alone, as many students choose to take a year off between school and college, in what is known as gap year. But what should you do during this time? Rather than sitting around for a year on your couch, here are a few great ways to make the most of your time.
Try new hobbies
Your gap year is a perfect time to try new hobbies. Pick up that instrument you’ve always wanted to learn, start going for hikes on nearby trails, or learn to paint. Your gap year is a great time to learn new things and see what you really enjoy doing. Who knows, you may end up trying something that you absolutely love, and decide that you want to turn it into a career.
A common choice for a lot of students who are taking a gap year is to travel. Once you start school, or you get a full-time job travelling becomes harder. With no large commitments on your plate, take some time to see the world, or at least the country. Plan a road trip with your friends, or backpack through Europe. You’ll need some money in order to travel, so hopefully you have some saved up, or your parents can help you out. If not, consider getting a part time-job for a few months, saving up, and then going. Travelling is a great way to broaden your horizons and experience new cultures, so try and do as much as you can while you can.
Want to help out a cause you care about, while also boosting your career prospects? If so, use your gap year to volunteer. There are plenty of volunteer opportunities all around – you just need to decide what interests you. Volunteer work is a great way to meet new people, learn new skills, help out other people, and feel good about yourself. Not only that, but when it finally comes time to either apply to university or a job, your volunteer experience will really help. To find some volunteer opportunities near you, try this link.
Get a job
Even if you don’t know what you want your long-term career to be, that doesn’t mean you can’t earn a living during your gap year. You’ll likely have some expenses during this time, and you’ll need a way to pay for them. Do you like working with people? Find a customer service job. Are you good with computers? Look for part-time work in a local office. Like driving and travelling? Flatbed trucking companies are always looking to hire reliable drivers. Your options are endless, so think about what you’re good at and what you like, then start looking around.
Take classes or internships
Just because you’re not going to university yet doesn’t mean you can’t learn some things during your gap year. If being a full-time student doesn’t appeal to you yet, take some classes in what you enjoy.
Besides classes, you can also learn new things from getting an internship. Internships help to provide you with real-world experience in an industry you’re interested in. If you’re lucky you’ll find an internship and earn some valuable experience that you can use going forward. Who knows, the place you intern at may even offer you a job at the end.
Plan for your future
During your gap year it’s important that you think about what comes next. Sure this year is fun – learning new things, travelling, and trying new hobbies – but eventually the year is going to end. So during this time, make sure you are thinking about the following year. What schools are you interested in? Do you want to get a job? What are your long term goals? Keeping all of this in mind will help you to make the most of your gap year, and get started on the right foot once it ends.
What did you do during your gap year? Let us know in the comments below.