5 Productive Ways to Spend a Gap Year

5 Meaningful Things To Do During A Gap Year

  • Research And Plan
  • Travel
  • Keep Learning
  • Socialize
  • Gain Work Experience

Students looking for productive ways to spend a gap year have several options. Any number of activities can have innumerable benefits, so even if it is only a part-time pursuit, students should try to do something productive during their gap year. All of the following approaches are good ones to consider.

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1. Research And Plan

Students should take a gap year to find themselves and settle on a plan for their future. This often involves a lot of research. Speaking with professionals in a student’s desired field and finding job shadowing opportunities are always good options. Students can consider whether they are going to go to graduate school and plan their application strategy or they can think longer about their choice of an undergrad college. There are many things to think about and taking the extra time to do research and settle on a plan can help ensure students ultimately make the best decisions.

2. Travel

It is fairly stereotypical for students to travel during this time, but the practice is actually one of the more productive ways to spend a gap year. Learning a new language is always a desirable skill, as Business News Daily points out because it demonstrates dedication and curiosity. Travel allows students to see more of the world and have more life experiences, which are good for personal growth and maturity. It exposes students to different cultures and ways of life, and many students may choose to try and live or study abroad as a result of these experiences.

3. Keep Learning

While many students use a gap year to take a break from schooling, there are other ways they can continue to learn. Learning a new skill, especially skills employers in a particular field look for, is a great idea. Tech skills are especially useful as well, and during a gap year, a student can use free trials to learn how to use key software or learn how to code. Students not burned out on taking formal classes also have the option of taking courses for college credit, which can help them better transition into undergraduate or graduate school.

4. Socialize

It is common knowledge by now that networking is one of the most powerful methods for growing professionally and landing a job. Students can take the opportunity of a gap year to build their networks by going to professional events, talking with people working in the field and just generally making connections with others that may turn out to be invaluable. Even personal acquaintances can translate into a job opportunity if they connect a graduate with the right people. Personal relationships are not only practically useful but can greatly enhance life.

5. Gain Work Experience

A gap year is a great time to get work experience, as it is work experience employers value most when a graduate begins job hunting. This does not have to be paid experience, though paid experience is undoubtedly useful because it not only provides funds for college but is also a great resume builder. Volunteer experience, however, should not be discounted because most employers are willing to consider volunteer experience to be significant.

Graduates can choose to take advantage of all of these possibilities or simply focus on one. It doesn’t really matter—a gap year should be spent doing things that are fun, even if they are useful and productive. All of these productive ways to spend a gap year are great options.