The Road Less Traveled: 7 Unique Ways to Spend Your Gap Year

Did you know that studies have shown that around 90% of students that take a gap year return to school within a year?

Gap years help students explore their interests before committing their time to school and their future careers.

Should I Take a Gap Year?

If you are considering taking a gap year, you should learn about all of the possibilities you have to choose from.

Continue reading to discover some of the best options for you during your gap year so that you make the most of your time!

1. Follow a Dream

One of the best things to do during your gap year is to follow a lifelong dream.

Whether you have always dreamt of taking a gap year exploring the country or trying out for a local play— do it! This is the perfect time to dedicate to something that you might not be able to get to in the future.

Some people dream of being a musician or artist. If you want to explore your creative side, try showcasing your work to see if it is profitable.

2. Get a Fun Job

Finding gap year ideas that will make you money while having fun is challenging.

Instead of stressing about getting the highest-paying job, find one that makes you happy. Not only will this add to your work experience but it will also help you find friends and have a positive experience in the working world.

You can read about practice tattoo parlors and turning your drawing passion into a potential career. If you enjoy this industry, you can get a degree in fine arts and drawing to further your options. Working at a pet store, music venue, or daycare could help you make the most of your day and sleep with a smile on your face.

3. Travel Abroad

What is a gap year if you don’t take some time to travel?

Having a year free of work and school opens up your schedule to visit other countries. Depending on your interests, you can visit relatives from your home country or explore areas that you’ve only seen in pictures.

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Some schools have study abroad programs where you can gain a few credits during your time overseas. Don’t forget to pack comfortable walking shoes and keep a translation tool nearby. Traveling aboard during your gap year will expose you to other cultures and possibilities for your future.

4. Become a Coach or Mentor

Did you enjoy playing sports in high school and want to continue the action?

Coaching kids sports or refereeing can be a great way to make money without too much pressure. You can enjoy your year in the world of your favorite sport while helping children find their talents.

If you got good grades, you could also consider becoming a tutor or mentor. Mentoring can be a fulfilling project that will prepare you for the next few years in college. Not only does it help kids in your community, but it also adds to your resume.

5. Learning Another Language

There is a logical reason people say that it’s easier to learn a new language when you are younger.

As you age, your responsibilities and knowledge increase while your free time decreases. This imbalance makes it difficult to start learning a new language since it requires so much brainpower and time. Consider using your gap year as a chance to learn a new language so that you have nothing holding you back from future travels.

Learning a new language will help increase your confidence and give you a skill that could be of use.

6. Gap Year Internship Programs

Internships can be a blessing or a ball and chain, depending on where you find one.

If you are lucky, you can land an internship that pays for your time. Unfortunately, most internships are unpaid and full-time. This makes it difficult for people that need to work or go to school.

Internships improve your resume and make you stand out from competitors for jobs and scholarships. Don’t forget to make the most of your networking opportunities during this time. You can land yourself a future career at your internship if you stay committed!

7. Volunteer Your Time

Whether you are an advocate for animal rights, decreasing homelessness, or human rights, you should volunteer.

Not only does volunteering look good on your CV but it can also expose you to your industry or passions. Dog shelters and food shelters are always looking for help to give out resources and put a smile on someone’s face.

It is difficult to regret spending your time volunteering since you are doing something good. This often makes people feel better about themselves and can increase happiness. Even if you can only donate a portion of your time, it is still better than nothing.

What Will You Do During Your Gap Year?

Figuring out what to do with a gap year can be difficult since there are so many options to consider.

Depending on where you plan to go to school and what you plan to study, you might want to set yourself up for the future or have fun. People that need experience in their industry before going to school typically sign up for internships during their gap year.

If you are trying to avoid burnout, following a dream or traveling can help you find joy in life. Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone, this is a perfect year to discover what you are capable of.

Be sure to check out our blog for more articles about preparing for your future and making the most of your life!

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