Gap Year – Gaining Experience before the First Day of College

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More and more young adults have to delay their college start dates.  They know that they want to go to college but may need more time than the quick two months between high school graduation and college freshman orientation day.  Whether the time is needed to save some money, backpack across South Africa, or submit applications after a missed deadline, future students can use this time wisely and gain valuable experience and insight before the first day of college classes.

Use the extra time to decide

College-bound students should think of every day as an opportunity to do something valuable towards preparing for the chosen major.  Undecided students can use this time to research different fields and career choices as well as educational and future job opportunities for each career.

Get a Job

Entering the work-force on a full-time or part-time basis can provide great benefits for those who have a delayed college entry as well. Not only will it provide an income while they wait but it also gives them the opportunity to experience first-hand what the job entails as well as whether or not they want to pursue that given field.  In addition, a job can enhance marketable skills or may provide a work-study opportunity.  Many students must work while attending college and a job can ease the financial burden of college tuition.  Even if it takes longer than the usual four years because of trying to balance work and school, the experience of a job will be one more step along the journey towards a fulfilling career.

Research your chosen field

This delayed entry time may also be a good time to gather information and connections in different fields.  Talking to people who have attended different colleges or work in different fields can provide valuable insight into future plans.  Conversations can help clarify plans or ideas that seem good and help avoid roadblocks that others have already experienced.  It is important to make a plan for the future, but also to remain flexible.  Without a goal and the steps to get there in mind, the time before college can easily be wasted.

Have some Fun

While setting goals and taking steps towards self-improvement are noble ideas, having some fun at this time is also a legitimate plan.  The time between high school and college can be a great time to try new things, go new places, and experience life as a high school graduate before the major responsibilities of college and life takes over.  Keep the goal in mind while enjoying the process.

Taking a Gap year before you go college will definitely prove to be a fruitful exercise if you use it to be an opportunity to learn and discover yourself. Take your time to have some fun while you are at it!

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