How to Spend your Gap Year

BradYoung04 By BradYoung04, 13th May 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/1dsy-30h/
Posted in Wikinut>Travel>Tips>Planning

Some ideas on how to make the most of a gap year, whether you're taking a break from studies, or just fancy an extended holiday

Introduction

A gap year is seen by many as a once in a lifetime opportunity. Before moving on to higher education, many young people take a gap year in order to expand their horizons and better understand what they want out of their futures. Accomplishing these things may be much harder when in higher education, so making the most of a gap year is essential to developing as a person.

What to do?

There are plenty of things you can do with your break from academics. It can be difficult to decide, and sometimes you may just feel like doing nothing, but you’ll regret it if you don’t make the most of it. You may decide you want to study more and get a head start in higher education, or simply forget about school for a while and explore the world. Whatever you’re choice, it’s important to choose what’s right for you.

Travel

Travelling is a popular choice on a gap year. Before settling into higher education, seeing the world can inspire you and help you make some important choices. Traditionally, gap year travelers tend to save as much money as they can, before setting out on the road and getting as far as they can get before running out of money, making it a mixture of surviving, exploring, and getting around any which way you can.

Popular destinations include South East Asia, where starkly different worlds such as Vietnam and Thailand exist. Many people choose these destinations because they are so far removed from our own homes, offering a vastly different view of the world and its inhabitants.

Volunteer

Using your time to volunteer and help others can be hugely rewarding, as well as very widely welcomed. There’s an increasing need for volunteers to help with a wide range of projects across the country, the best way to find out about these opportunities is usually online on dedicated message boards. This experience looks great when you go to University.

Many young people also choose to volunteer abroad, taking the best bits of travelling and combining it with some volunteer work. Whether it’s helping to build schools and facilities in Africa, or working with endangered animals in a nature park, there’s many ways to make your contribution to the developing world.

Work

What better way to prepare for University than making yourself some extra money and gaining some experience. There are usually a diverse range of employers who will take on gap year students for internships and work placements, the majority of which last a year at most.

Work experience will help on a number of levels. Firstly, getting some good working experience looks great on your CV and can help you secure a job whilst at University, or subsequently afterwards. Secondly, having some extra funds is always great; you could have yourself an extra special fresher’s week or pay off some of your expenses early.

Create

A gap year also gives you the opportunity to be creative without the restraints of briefs, grades, or otherwise outside factors influencing your work. Take the opportunity to produce some original creative works that are solely for your benefit, such as recording some music or creating a series of artworks.

Getting started on your creative endeavors can also help you professionally, as you’ll be building up a body of work and getting it out for the world to see in advance. If you choose to work creatively over your gap year, make sure you’re completely committed and have something to show for it.

Enjoy!

Good luck to all of you with your gap year plans. Most of all, you should be enjoying your time off from academics, so just remember to have fun above all else.
In the meantime, check out some of my other articles on Wikinut such as Top Tourist Destinations in the US and follow me on Twitter too.

Tags

Asia, Gap Year, Thailand, Travel, Vietnam, Volunteer Abroad, Volunteering, Work Abroad, Work Overseas

Meet the author

author avatar BradYoung04
I am a MBA grad who can transform your business. Follow me for straight talking insights into running successful businesses in a fast paced world. I am always working or surfing in the Californian sun

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Comments

author avatar Retired
13th May 2015 (#)

If I had a gap year I would be sure to travel. Interesting article with some good ideas. =)

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