People typically undertake a gap year between school and college in order to get more life experience and to prepare themselves for the huge life changes ahead. Gap years are great for experiencing new cultures and opening up the mind to new experiences that might never come around again, but they’re not just reserved for students. Anyone can take a gap year provided they have the means to support themselves during it.
Lots of people take gap years as a chance to go travelling, but there are so many more experiences and things you can do when you go on a gap year. If you’re thinking of taking a gap year – no matter how old you are – and you’re wondering what you can spend the 12 months doing, keep reading.
There’s a lot to be said about volunteering; namely that it benefits not just you, but the wider community, too. If you want to travel and volunteer, there are lots of overseas volunteer programs that allow you to get the best of both worlds. You can volunteer in almost every sector, from environmental conservation to animal rescue volunteer jobs. Whatever your passion, there’s a way for you to make a real difference with your gap year in the form of volunteering.
When you volunteer, you’re able to enhance your CV and increase your skillset in a way that future employers will greatly appreciate. This could make you a more viable candidate for a job, so if you’re taking a gap year either immediately before or immediately after your studies and you’re looking to go into a competitive field, volunteering is a great way to spend your gap year.
2. Work Experience
Volunteering isn’t the only thing you can do on a gap year. You could undertake an internship or an apprenticeship with an employer in your field to get some valuable work experience in. Work opportunities can be hard to come by, so any chance you get to enter the workplace should be welcomed with open arms. Lots of apprenticeships and internships offer paid salaries, so they will give you a chance to save up some valuable cash for when you undertake your studies or to support yourself afterwards if work is hard to come by in your chosen field.
3. Learn a New Skill
For many people, a gap year is a chance to take some time out before they go back into education, but that doesn’t mean you can’t learn new skills during it. A common thing for people to do during a gap year is to learn a new language, but you can learn anything. Whether you take the time to refine your favourite hobby, learn to drive or take a quick course in something completely left-field of your career path, a gap year is the perfect chance to learn a new skill. It can be hard to fit learning something new in when you enter full time work or college education, so taking a year out to hone in on something is a great idea. Who knows when you might next get the chance?
Who said you have to do something on a gap year? Taking a year out to simply live life and take a break is perfect acceptable, but it rarely crops up on lists on what to do during that time. There’s a pressure to always be doing something, but the truth is, most people would love to have the option to just stop and take life in for a year, so if you have the chance to by taking a gap year, do it! As long as you have the means to support yourself during it, there’s no harm in just kicking back and relaxing during your year off.
So, what will you do with your gap year?
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Meg is an author at Cinnamon Hollow. She writes on a variety of topics sharing tips and ideas for daily life.
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