If your plan for next year is university then you’re already submitted your application, right? If not, then get a move on. The UCAS deadline (January 15th) may be the official cut-off, but a lot of places will have been filled already. We know how fab you are, but that doesn’t mean the unis are holding a space specially for you. Get your application in before the end of this month.
The pandemic might have changed your plans about going to university. Perhaps you’ve already deferred for a year or because of everything going on you may have already decided that uni isn’t the right path for you in 2021, but you’ll give it a go in 2022.
If that’s the case, don’t let your gap year go by, in the blink of an eye, leaving you feeling unfulfilled and still not ready for uni. In days pre-covid (remember those?) a gap year often meant jetting off in a plane with a backpack and spending a couple of months in a new country. However we don’t know when that’s going to be a realistic option. So maybe it's time to think a little closer to home during your gap year. Here are a few ideas to get started:
Make a plan — Plan how the year is going to be beneficial to your long term goals. Think about the skills you want to work on or how you want to expand your CV. You might want to use the year to get a bit of work experience in your local area. Have a look in local businesses to see which places are taking on part time workers. It’ll help you develop employability skills while at the same time putting some money in your pocket. You might want to get involved with some volunteering in your area, there’s great apps like OnHand that allow you to sign up and organise your volunteering straight from your phone.
Set yourself goals - It would be easy to begin falling behind with your targets if you have an entire year before you go off to university so make sure you’re making yourself accountable. Set your targets for the year. Decide what it is exactly you want to get done or what you want to work on. This might be work experience or it might be personal goals. Getting better at one of your talents, going to see your grandparents more or researching your future goals and options.
We don’t know how international travel will look next summer. If you are able to go, make sure you aren’t just following the crowd and it is something you genuinely want to do. Think about how you will expand your skills while you are out there. It isn’t just looking at cool places and dancing on the beach (although feel free to still do this). You want to be able to use what you did during that time when you’re applying to jobs and courses. What skills did you build on there? How did you benefit from your time away? Sure you had fun but how did that build you as a person.
Once you can answer these questions, your gap year will have been time well spent, whatever it is you decide to do during it.
ARON TENNANT is the Talks and Editorial manager and designated GDPR Data Controller for Push. He is originally from South Yorkshire and has a BA in English Language and Literature from the University of Sheffield. He also has a MA degree in Creative Play and Screenwriting from City, University of London and came runner up in Nickelodeon's international screenwriting competition in 2018 and his short film ''Donkey Tooth' was screened at the London Raindance Film Festival in 2018. He is IMDB credited and alongside Push he does screenplay work for independent production companies and is working on his own independent film and theatre projects and writes articles for JumpcutOnline.com.
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