Though it’s quite normal in many countries to take a year off between secondary school and university, it’s still considered uncommon in countries such as America to take a gap year. While taking a year off may raise a few eyebrows, there are actually many benefits of a gap year program. Rather than limit career opportunities, it can actually open you up to a new world of possibilities outside of your comfort zone.
Travel and Growth
Are you questioning if a gap year is the right choice for you? Higher education can be a rewarding yet extremely challenging process. Taking some time off between studies can provide the opportunity to travel the world and fulfill long planned dreams or goals. Immerse yourself in a new world through travel abroad programs to see more of what exists in this diverse and exciting planet. There are many budget friendly options catered to gap year students who want to take some time off while still learning invaluable life skills and experiencing new cultures. You can take the time off to immerse yourself in a new world and learn a new language. These are skills that will not only enhance you as a person, but that you can use for life. Studying abroad through the right program can also boost your resume tremendously.
While there are plenty of course and classes you can take to better prepare yourself for college, there is another important step you can take to make the most out of your impending college experience. Taking some time off between the constant grind of schooling can allow you to discover what you really want to focus on so that you don’t have to waste any valuable college time determining what you want to major in. Many start college with a set career in mind only to discover that they have secondary passions that are more important to them. Allow yourself to explore possible career avenues in your time off so that you can discover what you truly want to devote you time, money and resources to in school.
While many people view constantly juggling tasks as a sign of success, it’s just as important to take the time and care to focus on your own well-being and happiness. If you enter college overly stressed out and anxious, you won’t be able to give your classes the focus they demand. Take some time off to recharge mentally and physically. For many, high school has become a non-stop workload filled with adding as many enriching activities onto a resume as possible in order to set yourself apart from peers. Allowing yourself to recharge and relax before getting back into the rat race can provide some much needed mental health improvement, leaving you a more balanced and self-assured person. Take the time to get to know yourself and discover who you are and what you want from life. This is an invaluable skill that will make navigating your subsequent career path and studies much easier.
Enrich Your Activities
Just because you’re taking a year off before school doesn’t mean you have to slack off. There are many activities you can do to get the most out of your gap year. You can use the free time to start a blog and share your passion with the world. Look into volunteer options either in your community or in another country. Serving others is often key to discovering more about yourself. If you’re in a position where you can still live with your parents, use the gift of free rent to allow yourself to explore an internship or pick up a side job to help earn money in advance for classes. Remember that there is no set path for your future. You don’t have to follow in the steps of everyone else. Be honest with how you feel. If you don’t think you’re ready to jump into the demands of college, take the time to discover who you are first. The results may surprise you.