For some people, going straight to college after graduating high school isn’t the best option. Whether it’s for financial reasons, or you simply feel burnt out after four grueling years of school, taking a gap year between high school and college could be a great option for you. However, even though you aren’t in the classroom, you want to make sure that your gap year doesn’t become a nap year! Here are a few ideas of ways to make your time off between high school and college productive!
1. Get a job
If you’re saving up for college, getting a full-time job is definitely the way to go. However, even if you aren’t trying to finance your education, spending a year working is a great way to strengthen your resume. Most college graduates only have experience working in the summers, so having a full year of work experience in addition to your summer jobs will put you ahead of the competition after graduation.
If you have a taste for adventure, traveling will be an excellent way to spend your time off. Whether you want to spend time immersing yourself in another language or simply seeing the world, backpacking with friends, staying in hostels, or enrolling in a gap year program abroad are great ways to travel as a teenager.
Volunteering is another excellent way to spend your time off from school. Whether you choose to volunteer locally or travel to volunteer abroad, finding a project that you believe in will give you a sense of purpose during your time off. As a bonus, consistent volunteering is another way to boost your resume and job prospects.
4. Get a Certification
Although you aren’t formally going to school, there’s no reason to stop learning. Most universities have open courseware on their websites, allowing you to choose one or two courses to take online. By completing these courses, you can add certifications to your resume that can help make you stand out as a job applicant. In some cases, certifications can even give you college credits. If you’re looking for online courses, Udemy is a great place to start!
5. Independent Study
Similar to gaining certifications, an independent study is another way to continue your education during your year off. By developing an individual course of study, typically by curating a list of books to read or online courses to take, you can gain expertise in a passion area that will help you succeed in college and beyond. Taking an independent approach requires dedication and discipline, but it can be an excellent way to spend your time off if you commit to completing it.