How to Spend Your Gap Year

Taking some time to travel and explore can teach you more than four years at a university.

While some may know about taking a gap year immediately after high school, not everyone is aware that you can take one after college as well. Even though it may seem as though taking a year off could set you back, there mayor in fact be many potential benefits to taking a gap year after you have completed your college degree. Here are a few things to consider if you think this might be a good move for you.

Travel Opportunities

While some may want to dive right in to the work force and look for their dream job instead of having a gap year after college, this can be a good time in your life to do some traveling. For many, this is a point in life where they might not yet have many responsibilities or commitments that could prevent them from leaving town for an extended period of time. Additionally, there may be a variety of programs that cater to young adults and college students that help them to make travel plans.

Volunteering

Volunteering can be another way to spend a gap year. There are many who might have been interested in volunteering, but between work and school, never had the time. Taking some time on a gap year to volunteer can give you the chance to pursue experiences and get involved with causes that are meaningful to you, and can allow you to give back to your community as well. If there aren't many opportunities to volunteer in your area, you could also consider volunteer programs that take you to other countries in need of help. In addition to being able to spend time helping others and doing something you care about, volunteering can also be a beneficial addition to your resume, and help to make you appear more well rounded to future employers.

Interships

If you'd prefer to spend your gap year in a way that is a little more career oriented, going for an internship could be a good move for you. While it may not always be possible to find a paid internship, there are some internships that provide benefits, and ones that can provide opportunities for travel as well. Also, getting an internship can be a good way to get your foot in the door at a company that interests you, and it could also help to provide you with some career experience as well.

Broadening Your Horizons

Even though it may be helpful to have a clear plan for your gap year, simply taking some time off before pursing your career can be a beneficial choice as well. During this time you can not only asses what specific career options you feel may be best for you, but you can also spend time pursing things you love. A gap year can be a good time to catch up on hobbies, or discover new ones. It can also be a good time to take on personal projects, or learn a new skill or even a new language, all of which could be helpful additions to your resume.

The Takeaway

A gap year doesn't have to be just for those going from high school to college, there are many who choose to take a gap year after college as well. Also, there can be many ways to spend your gap year, from traveling, to volunteering, to seeking an internship. Whatever you choose to do, taking an extra year can not only help to have experiences you may not have otherwise, but could also potentially help you gain knowledge and skills that will look good on a resume.

So, whether you can see yourself taking a trip to Europe or volunteering locally, taking a year to have unique experiences could help contribute to your personal growth as well as help you build your resume, and could even possibly help to give you an extra edge when you finally embark on your career path.

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