Whether you’re considering taking a gap year, or you’ve already decided to take one, finding something productive to do with your time can be a difficult, yet fun, task. A gap year is the perfect time to test careers and explore your interests.
Gap year: A one-year hiatus from academic studies to allow for nonacademic activities. – Mirriam-Webster.com
I think one of the main benefits of a gap year is the opportunity to gain hands-on experience before starting college, which will help you pick a college major. This way, you can avoid taking classes for a major that you decide isn’t for you after all. By doing so, you won’t lose credits, money, or time because you can stick with your original major.
Here’s a list of some of the many things you can do with your newly acquired free time:
- Start a business: Are you interested in aspects related to business, or considering being an entrepreneur? If so, test the waters by running your own business for a year. As an added bonus, focus your business on another topic you’re considering majoring in so that you can see which topic you like more. Trying out these interests while still living in the safety of your parents’ home is a win-win!
- Write a blog: Start a blog to get more experience writing and to add something to your resume. Pick a topic that interests you and do research on it while growing your blog.
- Get a job: Probably the most obvious thing to do during a gap year is to pick up a job. This will help you save up money for college, add another line on your resume, and possibly help you explore your interests.
- Intern: If you’re more interested in testing out your career options than making money, interning is your best bet! Get an internship working with someone in a field you’re interested in so that you can get hands-on experience.
- Shadow in the fields you’re interested in: If you have many interests, shadowing a person in each field is a good idea. In addition, research the careers you’re considering to have a better understanding of their daily tasks. If you want to be more thorough, look up the majors related to your field of interest on college websites to see which classes are required for that major. Do the classes interest you? Can you see yourself taking (and passing) the courses?
- Travel: Learn another language overseas, volunteer your time, and explore other cultures! It can be hard to travel later in life, so why not take advantage of this time before you have ties (job, family, etc.) holding you back.
- Spend time with family: Do you have elderly or sick family members? Taking a year off from school can give you the necessary time to care for them and show that you love them.
I hope this lists encourages you to be productive during your year “off”! I challenge you to combine two or more of these items into your gap year to create a year that suits you. Best of luck!
For reasons to take a gap year, read this article.
– Sarah C.