How To Give Back During a Gap Year

August 10, 2018

Taking a gap year can be hard, especially if you don’t know what you’re going to do. However, gap years can be extremely productive, as they can help you figure out what you want to do with your life and what you would like to study.


A gap year is a great time to travel, especially if you use your travels as an opportunity to experience a new culture, learn a new language, and become familiar with a new location. Instead of simply going on a regular vacation, travel to locations that are outside of your comfort zone. Travel to places where a foreign language is spoken, forcing you to learn a new language. Your travels during a gap year may result in you pursuing the studies of travel and tourism. It may also influence you to choose a career that allows you to travel. Also, becoming bilingual is a great quality to put on your resume.


 Photo: Sonnie Hiles on Unsplash 


Gap years are typically meant to let you learn more about yourself and figure out what you want to do with your life. This is why volunteering is a great thing to do during a gap year. Whether you are volunteering at your local clinic, a homeless shelter, a soup kitchen, a wildlife sanction, or a park, you will have the opportunity to learn more about yourself and better understand likes and dislikes. If you don’t like picking up trash or cleaning the park, then working with nature might not be for you. If you like taking care of people, then maybe a future in nursing would be right for you. Volunteering really allows you to figure out your true passions.


Another way to give back during a gap year is to apply for jobs outside of your comfort zone. If you’ve never had a retail job before, try applying for one. You may end up liking customer service jobs, showing you that, in the future, you may prefer a job that allows you to speak with customers one on one. If you’ve never been a waitress before, try that out. Having a job as a waitress can help you with your communication skills, as well as your ability to think on your feet. Being a waitress involves speaking to customers and having great communication skills. This can really urge you to come out of your shell and finally master the communication skills you’ll need for any job.


Additionally, during your gap year, try learning a new skill or language. If you’re unable to travel, you can still learn a new language by taking classes or watching youtube videos. If you’ve been wanting to learn more about HTML and javascript, use your gap year to learn from a friend or buy books that will walk you through the process. Learning a new skill or language can be a huge advantage for you in the long run, especially if you need something new to spruce up your resume.


Finally, pick up a hobby! Hobbies can be anything, such as drawing, painting, playing basketball, or writing, to name a few. The possibilities are endless. When you pick up a hobby and enjoy it, you may realize that it’s something you want to pursue in the future. For example, if you spent your gap year drawing and painting, you may want to have a career in art and even sell your art one day.


Gap years are supposed to help you figure out what you want to do with your life. Use your gap year wisely and try doing something meaningful that will allow you to discover more about who you are and what you aspire to be.


My name is Linda Tran. I'm 24 years old from Boston and I'm majoring in Marketing with a concentration in Social Media at the Southern New Hampshire University. A fun fact about me is that I learned coding and HTML at the age of 11.


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