When students graduate from high school, they typically have a pretty good idea of what the next few years will entail. They (or their parents) have likely already put down a deposit at their chosen college, and they have a pretty good idea of what their course load will look like. But for a growing number of students, the traditional path isn’t the right fit – and that’s where taking a gap year comes in.
A gap year is a year-long break from formal education, typically taken between high school and college. During this time, students often travel, intern, volunteer, or take on other experiences that help them grow as individuals and learn more about the world around them.
While a gap year is not right for everyone, it can be an excellent way to gain some real-world experience, learn more about yourself, and decide if college is the right path for you. Here are five things you should know about taking a gap year:
1. It’s OK to Step Off the Traditional Path
For many students, the pressure to go to college right after high school can be intense. It can feel like everyone around you is heading off to college, and if you don’t do the same, you’ll be left behind.
But it’s important to remember that there is no one right path for everyone. Taking a gap year can be an excellent way to take some time for yourself, explore your interests, and figure out what you want to do with your life.
2. A Gap Year Can Be an Excellent Way to Save Money
If you’re not sure you’re ready for college, or you’re not sure you can afford it, taking a gap year can be an excellent way to save money.
During your gap year, you can take on internships or part-time jobs to start saving up for college. Or, if you decide that college isn’t the right path for you, you can use the money you’ve saved to start your career.
3. You Can Use Your Gap Year to Travel
One of the most popular reasons to take a gap year is to travel. This can be an excellent way to see the world, learn about new cultures, and expand your horizons.
If you want to travel during your gap year, there are a few different options. You can go it alone, or you can sign up for a gap year program that will help you plan your trip and provide you with support along the way.
4. You Can Use Your Gap Year to Volunteer
If you’re looking for a way to give back, a gap year can be an excellent opportunity to do just that. There are a number of ways to volunteer, whether you’re interested in working with children, the elderly, the environment, or something else entirely.
Not only will volunteering give you the opportunity to help others, but it can also help you develop new skills and learn more about yourself.
5. You Can Use Your Gap Year to Intern
If you’re not sure what you want to do with your life, an internship can be an excellent way to explore your options. During your internship, you’ll have the opportunity to learn about a particular field or company and decide if it’s the right fit for you.
internships can also give you a chance to build your resume, make connections in your field, and start developing your career.