5 Things to Do During a Gap Year
1. Get a Job and Save Money
The first and foremost thing you can do is get a job and save up some money during a gap year. Especially if you’re still living with your parents and they’re paying your rent. One of the major things you’ll have to do when you’re out on your own is pay for rent. It’s a good idea to start saving money now. When you have very little bills and you’re working full-part time, even at a service or retail job, most of that money is going in the bank. You can use this to pay for future expenses, buy a car, invest it financially or start a business, or do number 2: Go on Adventures.
2. Go on Adventures
Having time to think between high school and college or career gives you a chance to take some remarkable adventures. A Gap Year is the best time to travel, and there are lots of ways to travel on a budget. You’re young, you’re bright and there’s lots of things in the world to experience! When you have that money saved up from working or working during high school, you can use it to go places, see amazing things and perhaps even think about places you might like to live (if you plan to move away from home for career or school). There are some pretty neat cities and places in the United States and abroad that can offer some unique perspective on the way people live, and this can give you a hand in what you might like to do. The new people you meet may become friends that last a lifetime.
3. Make Friends
What you don’t want to do is sit at home all day and play video games or surf the web (we’re looking at you, Facebook!) Some of this is totally normal and okay to practice, but making it the largest percentage of your time will have consequences later on, and will ultimately not lead to happiness. Because we’re leaving school, which generally has a lot of people our age in it, there becomes a vacuum in our social structure. Keeping up with friends from high school, or making new friends becomes an important task that one has to keep up with, or find it easy to get stuck in that lazy rut. Friends offer inspiration, creativity, fun, and it’s great to go on adventures with a friend. You can meet people by going to dance classes, cooking classes, joining a political or sports club, or the following: taking classes at your leisure.
4. Take Classes at Your Leisure
It’s a good idea to just take a few classes and explore some areas that you might consider a career in while taking a gap year. If you love animals, why not take a biology class at the local community college? You don’t have to go to school full time, and you can learn more about animals, what makes them work and all sorts of neat things about them, while getting credit for a potential degree. Not only getting credit, but actually exploring if this is an area that you might like to make a living. Same goes for any subject. You want to find out what it’d be like to be a writer? Take some English classes. Most of these classes would be a requirement for any sort of 2 or 4 year degree anyway, so why not?? You can also take career specific classes like metal working, or computer information systems. And if you decide you do or don’t want to go that route, then you’ll know!
5. Do Some of Your Own Learning and Research
We live in an age where almost all of the information known to mankind is literally at our finger tips. There are so many things to learn and explore about on the internet. Wikipedia is an amazing free resource to learn about anything you could possibly want. There are Youtube tutorials that show you how to do anything you might need to learn. It’s possible to master guitar playing just through following tutorials and reading tabs. It’s a great resource, so use it!
After everything, remember. There’s nothing that you need to do. You’re taking a gap year. Use this time to figure out what you want to do.
The GAP Year program at SOAR is an amazing outdoor adventure filled opportunity for young adults between the ages of 18 and 25. Explore with us as we go to amazing places like Yellowstone National Park, Redwoods National Forest, the Grand Canyon, Costa Rican beaches and jungles, and so much more. We help young adults learn essential life skills, organization, financial, cooking and just generally help prepare for success as an adult. Check it out today!