10 Ways to Spend a Gap Year Effectively

Now that you have graduated from high school this summer, you have many life options available to you. Choices abound as your future lies before you. Which avenue will you choose? What do you want to do with your life? What would be the best for you and your circumstances?

Many students already know what their next step will be. They have already chosen what college they want to attend or what career they want to pursue. Yet many students are now choosing to take a gap year between high school and college and even between college and graduate school. Actually, more and more colleges are encouraging the gap year before students begin their college path.

So, why is the gap year so beneficial? I have compiled a list of ten ways your gap year can provide crucial benefits and experiences to help you on whatever career path you choose in life. Make your gap year work for you. You will be surprised at what you can accomplish and learn to help you along your way.

1 Work

However, you spin it, life is expensive. Whatever you choose to do with your future, you are going to need funds. You can earn quite a bit in your gap year to help pay for your life’s dream. You can save up for your college expenses or buy a car. You can invest or earn money to build upon your life goals.

Getting a job is the best way to do it. Working also gets you out in life to build new experiences! It helps you to become more self-sufficient and independent. It also helps you to build new networks to help boost your future!

2 Volunteer

Volunteering in an area that you are interested in can help you gain experience in your future field. Many colleges and universities require a certain amount of volunteer hours. If the university that you choose does not require volunteer work, it definitely plumps up your application and shows you in an excellent light. This can make the difference between an acceptance letter into their college program or not.

If you are undecided in a career path, then volunteering is the perfect way to help you decide where you want to take your life. Many life experiences can be built by volunteering. You do not only help make the world a better place but also boost up your own experience and expertise. There are thousands of volunteering programs on the web to research and join. Just find one that is of interest to you.

3 Travel

Wherever you choose to go in life, travel is always a great idea. The best time to travel is before you have to buckle down into your studies program or life’s goal. The benefits of travel are extensive. Traveling helps us to broaden our thinking. It helps us to appreciate what we have and understand other cultures and our own better.

The best teacher is first hand life experience and travel is the best way to gain that knowledge. You can build your understanding by traveling in your own country or abroad. There are thousands of travel options online open to travelers of all ages. However, if travel is your goal for your gap year, it is crucial to keep safety tips in mind.

Never travel alone. Always do your research before traveling abroad and to unknown sites. The more you are informed, the safer you are. Always book accommodations through reputable sources and keep your currency and important papers such as passports and personal identification on you at all times.

4 Teach English abroad

If your goal is to travel and work, then you may want to consider this alternative choice. Plenty of countries welcome adults who speak English fluently. Hundreds of companies can be found on the Internet offering jobs to teach English as a second language in different countries. You would receive housing, pay, and travel for your time as well as memories that will last you a lifetime.

5 Missions

If you like to volunteer and would love to travel, then a mission trip may be what your need. There are plenty of organizations on the web with information to get you pointed in the right directions. Also, many churches offer missions trips to different countries. Many countries and organizations need your help. Choose a country that you have always wanted to visit. Help others and in so doing, discover yourself.

Read also – 8 Things to Do at 20 That Will Make Your Life Easier at 40

6 Help to rebuild

If you like to help out your community or your country, there are organizations where you can work to help rebuild homes for families in need. The National Civilian Community Corps or AmeriCorps are awesome first steps in building leadership skills and helping communities build after crisis. If you enjoy helping others you can also check out the opportunities available at the American Red Cross, Salvation Army, and other like organizations.

7 Intern

A great way to spend your gap year is to intern in the field that you are planning to pursue. This not only helps you to ascertain whether your chosen career is right for you but it also helps you to build contacts and networks that can be crucial down the road.

Remember to always appear professional in your appearance and behavior. Show your boss that you are serious about your internship. A stellar job performance may turn into a professional position in their company after you graduate.

8 Learn new things

The gap year is a time for self-exploration. It is a time to discover new avenues within yourself. Find out what exactly makes you tick. Discover what you excel at and what you need to improve upon. Take time in your gap year to learn new things. Learn new hobbies or a trade to work on the side of your main dream.

Learn a new skill that will help you in the work force or a new talent that you never knew you possessed. Learn a new language. This is your time to discover and improve upon you. This is an extremely important step in discovering your strengths and your weaknesses.

9 Train

Health can always be improved upon. Train to improve. Push your endurance to become the best you can be. See how far you can go. Enter a marathon or athletic event. Join a community team. Sign up for a dance class. Learn to fence or ski. Get out of your comfort zone and test yourself. Strengthen your body as well as your mind and talents. Become as fit as you can for the next chapter in your life.

10 Follow a dream

Did you ever want to pursue something? Have you dreamt of accomplishing a certain task or to improve upon a specific skill? Now is the perfect time. Your gap year is not only for discovering yourself but also for following your dreams.

This is your time to see if your dreams can become your reality. Write the novel you always wanted to write. Try that business you always wanted to begin. Paint your masterpiece. Build buildings. Do whatever is in your heart to do. That is exactly what your gap year is about.

Read also – 5 Reasons You Let Your Dreams Go

Now is the time to take your gap year and find yourself. Find what your goal in life is about. Discover your life’s purpose. Try new things and challenge yourself and the way your think. Pursue new choices and broaden your horizons. Your gap is all about improving yourself. Take the time to explore, for in doing you will find not only your true inner self but also your life’s calling.