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How to get the most from your Gap Year

The popularity of the gap year continues to rise, and with more and more people opting to take a break from education or work, there are now endless possibilities to choose from. However, before you pack your suitcase and head off on the experience of a lifetime, you really need to do some soul-searching. While it’s one thing to take a year out, it’s another thing entirely to get something worthwhile from it. Having a great social media photo album is all well and good, but if you’ve made the decision to take a gap year then perhaps it’s time to consider just how that time could benefit your future. If you do it right, you can not only give your resume a boost, but also return home with an entirely new outlook on life and a whole new skill-set that could vastly improve your future.

Create

While a gap year is often about taking a break from studying or working, the truth is that you will have the time, energy, and inspiration to create something wonderful. You could look at creating an online video diary or a photography blog to document your journey, or tailor your experience so that it’s relevant to your expected career. For budding artists, there’s no better source of inspiration than travel, so use the world around you to explore your creativity. From diaries to travel journals, look to your strengths and your ambitions, and you might find that what you create on your gap year is the one thing that makes you stand out when it comes to applying for jobs.

Explore

Travel broadens the mind, and no matter your age or financial circumstances, if you have decided to take a gap year, then the very worst thing that you can do is nothing. While some people do prefer to stay at home during their gap year, that’s rarely going to make a positive contribution to your future. Instead, explore the world around you. You may not be able to afford a backpacking holiday around the world, but nothing is stopping you exploring what’s closer to home. Go on week-long hiking trips and revel in the beauty of Bryce Canyon, sleep beneath the stars and contemplate your place in the world. Nothing will re-energize and motivate you more than taking time to investigate and notice the wonders that can be found everywhere.

Learn

If you’re taking time out, then you are probably of the opinion that the last thing you want to do on your gap year is to learn things. However, the truth is that you may have escaped the suffocating walls of the classroom, but the whole world can be your teacher. If you’re traveling abroad, then make sure to learn some key phrases in the local language, or even use the vast array of resources and you could even become fluent. Being bilingual is a massive boost to your resume, but if that doesn’t appeal, you could also spend the time learning to play an instrument or learn a new sport. You may have left the classroom, but learning should never stop, and you may even benefit from learning to be yourself.

Gap years are enormously beneficial, so make sure that you don’t waste the time that you have. Use that time instead to make improvements to your life and your future, and no matter what happens, you’ll always have those new memories and talents to bring with you, wherever you may land.