It is now commonly seen that students who have spent the last 12-13 years in schools continuously gaining formal education feel burned out when they attend college directly after graduating high school. Therefore, there has been a steady rise in students who prefer to take a gap year between high school and college.
If it’s the first time you’re hearing the words ‘gap year’, you might also be wondering what it means. Generally speaking, a gap year is the time a student chooses to stay away from formal education and the whole classroom environment commonly found in formal educational institutes so as to self-reflect, focus on themselves and what they want to achieve in their lives.
There are a number of ways in which students can both enjoy themselves and gain practical knowledge and experience through gap year. We’ve compiled a list of the best ways for planning your gap year both, effectively and efficiently, once you’re done with your high school education.
We love the idea of taking casual tours of the country you live in, get to know other states and cities personally, and experience the history and beauty of your own country either by touring with one’s friends or with a group of travellers with similar interests.
There are also many affordable ways of travelling abroad (like looking up economical hotels, booking flights before the peak season and avoiding expensive food) and visiting historical places that help us learn more about different countries as well as their traditions and cultures, thus rejuvenating us from within and broadening our mind set too.
One of the most common excuses people make for not volunteering towards a great number of fantastic non-profit organizations that help the needy is that they don’t have enough time in their daily schedule. One of the finest gap year opportunities for students is by utilizing their time to volunteer in the community centers of their neighborhood or various other organizations that need help.
By doing so, one learns empathy, sympathy and how effective love and care are for those in need of some of the most basic requirements. We learn how to take care of people, how to be helpful to those who need it and most important of all, we learn how to be human at a time when most of the world has forgotten it.
WORK/INTERN IN YOUR DREAM FIELD
If you have already decided what you want to do in life and are planning on making it your career, then it’s also a great option to intern in the field you like, gain some hands-on experience in that field and use it to your benefit when you enroll in your college courses.
There are many organizations that provide internships to students straight out of high school and gap year opportunities like these are surely ones that you wouldn’t want to miss. And if you can find paid work, there’s nothing better than being a little financially independent before going off to college.
Many universities abroad offer summer courses along with other courses in various subjects which can be helpful to students due to the changed environment and teaching styles. Students can also experience the different cultures and traditions of these lands which can surely benefit them in the end.
DEVELOP NEW SKILLS
Seize your gap year opportunities to polish and learn new expertise that highlight the best in you. Students can easily acquire different skills such as learning new languages, brushing up on the ones they had forgotten, learn how to paint, play a guitar, learn graphic designing, and so much more.
DISCOVER WHAT YOUR PASSION IS
Many students are often forced to study subjects they are not passionate about simply because that’s what their parents have decided would be a better option for them. Once they enroll into their college classes, these same students find in impossible to care about those subjects and begin to look for other interests. Hence, it’s important that we think clearly about what we want to do in our life.
Although there is nothing wrong in changing one’s study program or career if we’re unable to feel passionate about it, in hindsight, it is better if we are aware of where our skill set and passion lies.
Leaving off to college means students are automatically made independent, at a time when most of them are just adults due to age and not due to their mental state and maturity.
By planning your gap year successfully, one can practice being an adult, becoming responsible and mature, and financially independent while still living with their parents. This can help students from sudden panic or anxiety attacks that happen when students find themselves responsible for their own selves suddenly.
However, taking a high school gap year does not mean that one should completely forget about education even while enjoying their gap year opportunities. Hence students should make sure to think about how they want to benefit the most after their high school education. If you’re reading this article and want to take some time off before joining college, you should begin by analyzing where your skill set lies. Do you want to explore your artistic side or analytical one during this time?
Note down what you dream of doing; there is no limit to one’s imagination and hence what you want to achieve should also not have a limit. Once you have made a list of how you want to spend your high school gap year, make it a reality.