5 Things to Do on Your Gap Year

A gap year isn’t just an opportunity to laze around for a year whilst you decide which path you want to take next. It’s the opportunity to learn and grow as a person and discover your passions. It’s a year in which incredible memories can be made for life, it’s the chance to take a year to discover who you are and prepare for your life ahead.

Deciding to take a gap year is a big decision no matter what age you decide to take a year out and it isn’t something you should decide to do simply because everyone else is doing it. With some careful planning you can turn your gap year into one of the most memorable years of your life.

So, if you’re stuck for some inspiration here’s 5 things you can do on your gap year.

Go Travelling

One of the most popular things to do when you take a gap year is, of course travelling. Whilst there is opportunity to go travelling later on in life, travelling the world before you go to university, start a job or college placement is a great learning curve to help prepare you for the future.

Deciding where to go is one of the biggest decisions and whilst many follow the usual partying routes of Australia and Thailand, there’s so much more exploring to be done. Create the ultimate travel bucket list and get planning!

Volunteer

If you’re someone who likes to do good in the world then why not volunteer during your year out. Not only will it look good on your CV, it’ll prove you’re comfortable working with new people, in different cultures and improve your leadership skills.

Look for volunteer projects which have overseas staff to help keep you safe during your placement such as Global Medical Projects. Volunteering can include anything from teaching a language abroad, building new centres for underprivileged areas or providing medical assistance.

Learn a New Skill

The best thing about taking a year out is that it give you the chance to discover your passions, so why not take some time to learn a new skill. You never know where it might lead and you may discover you love something you’d never even thought of doing before.

It doesn’t need to be extreme either and it’s something you could do alongside a job or travelling too. Perhaps you want to learn to cook, how to code a website or learn a new language. The possibilities are endless once you get going.

Get a Job

If the thought of living for a year with no money fills you with dread, then the simplest option is to get a job. Not only will you have regular money coming in but it’ll give you the opportunity to save for the future. If you’re heading off to university, things will get tight so having a bit of extra cash in your back pocket for rainy days will be a welcome back up plan.

If you’re unsure of what kind of direction you want your career to go in or which course to take then it’s a great way to discover what you do and don’t like in the working world. Don’t be afraid to take up an internship or work placement to get some hands on experience. Make sure you read the guidelines on internships so you’re aware of when you should be paid.

Keep a Blog

A bit like a personal diary you had when you were younger, keeping a blog is the perfect way to document your gap year and keep track of all the things you’ve achieved. Whether you choose to go travelling, get a job or learn something new it’ll give you something to look back on in years to come.

Keeping a blog can also help to give you good kudos with future employers and universities too. Blogging requires a lot of skill as you learn how to become a content writer, promote posts on social media, edit photos and design your own site. Be proud and include it on your CV.

Whatever you decide to do on your gap year remember the sky’s the limit, but most importantly have fun and keep safe!  

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Emily Jarvis

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