11 Feb Valuable Learning Experiences During Your Gap Year
What Is a Gap Year?
Every year, many students take a year off, often referred to as a gap year, where they take some time off from formal school to travel, work or otherwise. Often, students will take a gap year after high school, before starting college. There are many reasons for taking a gap year, from needing a break from schoolwork, to traveling across the country to spending time earning money before paying for college. No matter the reason, a gap year is a great opportunity to learn something new.
One option is online learning during your gap year. You could learn a language, or get ahead in a subject before starting school. You could take a class or do your own research project. Online learning has such a wide range of possibilities and taking a gap year could help you better prepare for college or improve some valuable learning skills before starting to work on your major. A gap year provides you with some time to refresh and avoid burnout associated with going straight to college, but you do not want to lose some of the important skills that can help you succeed like note-taking and studying.
Another option for a gap year is a traveling program. There are plenty of programs where you can go abroad for a year or part of a year for a sea semester or another traveling school program. These can give you a chance to see the world and learn something along the way. There are science based programs, history based programs and literature based programs, just to name a few.
Another option for a gap year revolves around independent travel. You could backpack across Europe or travel throughout South America. This option gives you more freedom and less structure if you are looking for a year that is less about learning in books and more about learning about the world around you. Experiencing different cultures is a learning experience in itself. It can include learning some of a new language or learning more about the customs and traditions of different cultures and communities around the world.
Work and Learn
Many people take a gap year to save some money for college. You can consider a handful of different internships, camps or work programs to learn something new. It can also be a chance for you to explore some different professions before deciding what major you want to pursue. There are also job shadowing programs you could sign up for to get a chance to see different professions up close.
The other option for a gap year is to really take a break from school and intense learning and take up a customer service job for a year. You can make some money, save up and learn how to work in the service industry. Working in customer service, you can learn a lot of valuable skills like teamwork, cooperation and patience. Taking a gap year after college could mean taking a part time service job while exploring other careers and really taking the time to find and fill out applications.
Learning About You
A gap year can also be an amazing opportunity to learn about yourself. Taking the time off to have more fun and explore your passions can be a great way to prepare for college. Try doing pottery. Write some poetry. Learn more about your hometown or take walking tours of cities near you. Learn how to sew or train for a half marathon. You can try new things you have never tried before. You could take a cooking class or watch Youtube videos to learn new recipes. Learn how to balance a checkbook or file taxes. You could take the time away from school to learn some real-life skills.
A gap year can be a valuable time to learn skills for school and skills for life.