Gap years used to be thought of as something only rich people or unreliable people did. These days, however, everyone is taking gap years, from young adults just out of high school to people in their mid-20s or 30s who want to take a sabbatical from work and travel for longer. A gap year should be seen as a way to achieve your goals, personal and professional, instead of a questionable gap in your CV.
This article will give you tips on how to present your gap year in a way that highlights the benefits and how you’ve learned from it. These suggestions can be used either in a traditional CV for job applications or in a cover letter or personal essay for students who are applying to higher education.
We know that making real-life decisions and the whole UCAS commotion is basically a year away, but before you know it these choices will be getting all up in your face and demanding attention.
Then there's all the exams, revision, coursework, birthdays/bar mitzvahs/weddings and the highly repostable memes... so it's never too soon to get focused.
Besides, what's sixth form all about anyway? If you can work out where it's heading, it gives the next two years more purpose, more focus — maybe even more fun and success.
What we're saying is that, however early it seems, now's a great time to be thinking about two of the big questions; what do you want to do and where do you want to do it?
We talk a lot about gap years, we know. And what does that actually entail, bathing baby elephants in your brightly patterned harem pants? Volunteering your time to dig out wells, or teach disadvantaged children?
Sure, if that’s your idea of a dream year out. Go for it. But don’t worry too much about matching the stereotypes.
A year out is whatever the hell you want to make of it. Travelling and volunteering are two popular avenues, of course. Chances are you’re young and not tied down with any scary responsibilities like a mortgage and steady 9-5, why wouldn’t you go see the world?
You’ve done it. You made it through two years of intensive studies, coursework, endless revision, and one hell of an exam period. Go you!
This week, it’s finally time to reap the rewards.
If everything goes to plan, you’ll wind up with the grades you were hoping for and everything will be hunky dory. Party time. On with the plan, whether that be heading to uni, taking an apprenticeship, heading out on a gap year or going into work.
So exams are pretty much done and dusted if you’re in Year 13. Good job, pats on the back all round. If uni’s not immediately (or ever) on the cards for you, then now’s a great time to think about how to invest in yourself over the next year of sweet, sweet freedom.
The idea of a gap year might have been bounced around, but what is it really like? Who can do it? Is it a good idea? Thankfully, Push is here to help with a few good old FAQs.
Uni, uni, uni. Might seem like that’s all we (or anyone around you for that matter) are talking about right now is going to uni. But that doesn’t mean it’s the right answer.
There’s no one post-18 path to rule them all. Think apprenticeships, degree apprenticeships, work and jetsetting, for starters.
We’re not saying you can blow the next three months on Netflix binges and house parties though. Put your hands in the air and step away from the aux.
Easter’s way behind us, which means only one thing – Summer’s on the horizon. The pressure’s not off yet, but end of exams, coursework, revision, studying is nigh.
If you fancy a break from all the work, work, work, have a think about what you’re going to do with all that sweet free time once you’re finished. Whether you’re planning on taking a year out or just having one hell of a Summer, travelling on a budget is high up the student priority list.
But it ain’t all sunshine and rainbows, trust us. Making a few hundred quid stretch you for three months in the Bahama’s is easier said than done. But not impossible, with a bit of planning.
Yep, another one. We know, it’s rubbish, but…
Deadline alert. If you’re planning to go to uni this Autumn, aren’t a secret millionaire, and you want to be able to pay your fee/have money to live on:
Remember to apply for your student loan by the end of May. This is the cut off for guaranteed loans by the time your course starts in the Autumn, so jump on it.
You don’t need a confirmed place at university or college to apply, just use your preferred choice and update it online if it changes.
If you miss the deadline you might find yourself starting uni with only the change from down the back of the sofa so here's your reminder now.
The deadline for applications to Oxbridge, medicine, dentistry and veterinary science courses is today, so get a move on if you still want to apply. Otherwise, you’ll have to take a gap year and apply next year — which might not be so bad anyhow. To double check other upcoming deadlines or application requirements go to the UCAS website.
Do you know your bops from your balls? Or your CATS from your CUKAS?
Heading into the world of higher education can be like learning a new language – there's more jargon than you can shake a soc at. That's why we've created this handy glossary of all the weird and wonderful terms academics like to use. Let Push be your guide.
You'll need us. Honestly, it's a jungle out there.
So, it’s getting to the time of year where everyone’s asking the same, awful question: what are you going to do with your life?
Yuck. What a quick way to ruin the annual family barbecue.
If you’re panicking about the answer, or really just don’t know what you want, you’re not alone. Just remember that it’s your life, and your choices, so be certain that whatever you decide comes from a well-researched place. This is not the time to make a last minute panic decision, or just go along with whatever everyone else is doing or telling you to do.
Not to scare you or anything, but today, January 15th, is a pretty darn important deadline. That's right, it's D-Day.
And the cut off is at 6pm.
If you've already got your UCAS application in, congrats, you're on the ball and we applaud your organisational skills. You may burn this message after reading, unless you'd like to keep the info safe in the off-chance you don't get the acceptance offers we know you deserve this time around.
If you're hoping to start university in 2018, and haven't yet submitted your UCAS application, now is the time to act – and panic slightly, but only if that's going to motivate you. No headless chickens here, please.
You may have nearly a year until your uni application deadline for 2019, but if you're clever (and we’re sure you are), you'll want to be as on-the-ball as Cinderella’s godmother and get your application right at the front of the queue.
That means getting it submitted by around half term in the Autumn.
Still think you've got ages? Just think about all the lessons, summer exams, Saturday jobs, parties, holidays and procrastination that you've got to fit in. Blink and the year will be gone.
You've probably started thinking about your options after school already, even if by mistake, but soon your teachers are going to start pushing you for a plan.
So when the family's getting on your wick over the festive period, what better excuse is there for finding some alone time than that you want to get ahead of the game?
So you're thinking of heading across the pond for uni? You wouldn't be the first – many have been drawn in by the glitz and the glam of Hollywood, bright lights of the city that never sleeps, the beaches, deserts, snowy mountains and just about everything in between.
And it's far from impossible to study your undergrad degree in the US, but it's not easy. And it's definitely not cheap.
So, you might be thinking about taking a gap year. You might have blindly just stumbled into one.
Worried about funding it? If you're keen to travel the world whilst getting physically fit, while developing skills like teamwork, communication, leadership, tenacity and initiative, then The Army's Gap Year Commission is 100% worth a look.
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