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?
If that’s your goal, have a look at all our helpful info on a travel gap, including a safety checklist, budgeting ideas and resources and websites for finding the perfect opportunity for you.
And sure, volunteering, as we always say, looks killer on your personal statement or CV. You’ll meet some brilliant people from different walks of life. It might even change your world-view a little.
There are bucket loads of opportunities across the globe – you don’t need to travel to have a rewarding experience, but if you’d like to put your passport to good use, why not?
Just don’t feel like your gap year has to live up to someone’s Instagram highlights reel. You don’t need to blow all your savings on a package holiday style gap to make the most of it. You don’t need to travel at all if you don’t fancy, you can invest in your future self all from the comfort of home.
Maybe you want to get some practical work experience under your belt, and can spend some time shadowing a professional in the field you’d like to head into. Or maybe you could take a full time job and start saving for the future.
Maybe your grades weren’t quite up to scratch, and you want to retake some exams this time around. No biggie. Perfect time for it.
Need a little more convincing? Moj, one of our presenters, has a great 90-second video on how to Maximise a Gap Year. And it’s pretty funny to watch his attempts at beating the clock.
Just remember, this year is yours to play around with. There’s no one to impress but yourself. And no need to fill your grid with subtly filtered sunrises from across the Limpopo to have spent it wisely.
LUCY HARDING is the Editorial manager for Push. She is an English Literature grad and an MA Publishing student at UCL. She is passionate about international relations and cultural diversity, having worked closely with her university’s Erasmus society to support European students. She also spent a year abroad studying at California State University: Long Beach
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