There are programs and scholarships in place that may allow you to travel and volunteer during your gap year. You can also spend the year improving your skills for your desired profession.
Taking the time to focus on your personal development is never a waste of time. There are unique skills that you can build through traveling, working, volunteering, or shadowing.
Whatever you decide to do with your time will be a wonderful asset to your next college application, and here’s why.
1. You Can Gain Clarity
Whether you are taking a gap year right after high school, or before you enroll in a master’s program, taking some time off will allow you to connect with yourself. You can spend time entertaining your unique interests and find work in different fields.
Spending some time working may show you how much you love or hate a particular field. This extra time can also allow you to connect with yourself and introspect before you are re-acquainted with the pressure of assignments.
There are many pros and cons of a gap year, but the pros tend you outweigh the cons for many.
2. You Can Get Work Experience
As a full-time student, it is difficult to work anything other than a part-time job. During your gap year, you can work a full-time job. This can give you valuable work experience to add to your resume, and give you valuable job skills.
3. You Can Save Money
If you decide to work during your gap year, you can build your savings account. Many people choose to live with their family during their gap year, which saves on rent. Saving money before heading back to school can be a huge plus.
Working while in college as a full-time student can be very difficult. It can be very beneficial to save up and money and spend your free time in college building skills and relationships, rather than working.
4. You Can Travel
Other than study abroad opportunities, which can be rather time consuming and expensive, it is difficult to travel while you are a college student. During your gap year, you can spend time traveling to different countries, and building your global awareness.
Traveling is great for expanding your palate, experiencing new cultures, and learning new languages. It can also help you decide what you field you want to study in when you go back to school.
5. You can Get Shadowing Experience
If you are unable to find a job in the field you are interested in, you can reach out to local professionals in the field and shadow them. Shadowing is a great way to learn about a profession through first-person experience.
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It allows you to ask questions and immerse yourself in your potential future workplace. This is also an excellent way to find your drive and motivation to study in the field.
It is a very common practice for professions like law enforcement, medicine, and sales. This can be arranged with a simple visit to an office, or an email to the professional of choice.
Taking a gap year may be frowned upon by parents and family members, but it is a great way to learn about the world. Spending time outside of the classroom to build your communication skills, financial managing skills, time management skills, and general knowledge of a field is an amazing thing for your personal development.
Some education programs can take 5 to 10 years to complete, and in the grand scheme of things, one gap year will not set you behind. Gap years add valuable life experience that you cannot always get while in school.
Take the time to explore the world, your field of interest, and yourself before going back to school.
Image Credit: reasons why you should take a gap year by twenty20.com
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