When I tell people I’m on a gap year their automatic response is to ask where I’m going. There seems to be a common misconception that all youth who are taking a year off are doing so to travel and I don’t blame them either. However, I feel as it modern day youth are becoming less and less likely to spend the full year country hopping. Traveling is expensive, not everyone has the confidence to do it and it’s simply not for everyone.
So, what can you do then if a year traveling simply isn’t for you?
Spend the year working
Want to know a secret? This is what I’m doing in my gap year.
After this year I’m going to University and let be real, uni is seriously expensive. Student loans are fantastic but they’re not going to give you all the money in the world. Spending a year working gives you the opportunity to save up and this is so important for uni. If I save now I can live comfortably at uni, I won’t be relying on my loan or my family. It’s going to give me that little extra piece of independence.
It’s not only the money side of things that working is useful. If you’re like most, you’ve just came out of education. You’ve spent the majority of your life in a classroom and I don’t really think that counts as extensive life experience. Working gives you the opportunity to meet new people from different backgrounds, learn what adulthood and real life is actually like. In employment you’re faced with situations you might not have ever experienced in all your years of education. It’s not like you have to work full time either, I’m not. You can work part time if you still want a few days a week to have some time off.
Get creative- start a small business
Every heard of Etsy?
I love creating things, a lot of things but the trouble is that I don’t have anywhere to store everything I make. One thing I’d love to this year is start a little business and sell the things I make, that way I can have the fun of making thing and earn a little bit of cash from it. Setting up an Etsy store isn’t hard and if you can make it, you can probably sell it. It’s not like Etsy is your only option either. In my local town they have monthly artisan markets, you can sell on Ebay or even at car boot sales. Not only does it give you a little bit of money, but you can make and sell on your own terms. You’re your own boss, if you want to have a made creating frenzy for a few weeks and then give it a break for a month afterwards that cool, you can do that.
If you have a skill you might as well use it, who knows where it will take you.
Pick up a new hobby
Just because you’re out of education it doesn’t mean you have to stop learning. There are so many resources, clubs and opportunity’s out there. You could start a blog (it’s so much fun), learn how to sew, if you have more coordination than me how about you challenge yourself to learn how to skateboard or learn a new language. There are endless possibilities of things you can do in a year.
It’s not like you have to join a club either. There are websites like Skillshare and Future learn that have so many courses and classes you can take on a wide range of topics. How about you challenge yourself to learn something new?
Not going to lie, I’d struggle with this.
I have to be doing something, learning or moving forward, but not everyone is a workaholic like me. Maybe you’ve had a rough year and you know what, you just need a breather. You need a break and that’s ok. I’ve known people very close to me who have just chilled for a year and that seems to have done them a lot of good. So, if you have opportunity where you don’t have to be working and you can just relax, go for it if you’d like.
I cannot put into words how fantastic volunteering is. Not only do you gain work experience to enhance your CV, gain life skills, go to new place and meet new people but it’s incredibly rewarding. I volunteered with Girlguiding for two years and it was just fantastic.
There are so many volunteer opportunities out there, it’s not just working in charity shops. You can help at youth clubs or even do a whole year of voluntary work. Some people do discipleship years, other people go aboard with charities to help people in need. Or you can be like me and give up an hour and a half each week to help some incredible young girls grow and develop.
You won’t regret volunteering.
So, there we are, my 5 ideas on what to do in your gap year that don’t involve traveling. Have I messed any? If so, let me know down in the comments bellow.