If you have been following my blog for a while now you would know that I am a big believer in the benefits of gap years. I believe we need time between high school and university to get to know ourselves, our interests and what career we actually want to do, before we commit to a 4-year degree or apprenticeship.
If you have already decided to take a gap year, I can promise you won’t regret it. If you are still sitting on the fence as to whether or not you should take a gap year, let me push you over and into a year (or two) of self-discovery.
Gap Year Ideas
Here are some things you can do on your gap year, to help you discover your interests, your passion and your skills.
Go on a Working Holiday
How does working on a ski hill in Canada or in the outback of Australia sound?
A working holiday is my number 1 suggestion for those on a gap year.
During my first gap year, I moved from Australia (home) to Canada where I worked at a ski hill. I left at the age of 18, by myself, to literally the other side of the world.
This was the best decision I ever made. I broke away from my high school circle and habits and discovered a new version of myself, I learned what I loved and I made new friends from all around the world while learning essential life skills such as budgeting and self-care (cooking, cleaning).
If you want to do a working holiday but don’t know what job you can get, check out my post on the most common working holiday jobs. You may be surprised at how many options you have.
If you want to find out more about why I packed my bags and moved overseas at the age of 18 click here.
Moving overseas may not be for you, that’s totally fine, you can experience the same benefits by moving interstate. Why not go for a sea change or tree change in your gap year and get to know a new part of your country, make a new circle of friends and gain valuable life experience before you make a decision that will affect the rest of your life.
Find a job in your field
If you think you want to study in a particular industry, take the time to find a job or volunteer in that industry. A day in the life of ………. (insert your chosen profession) may look very different in reality that you anticipate. The more you can find out about your career choice before you start, the more money and time you can potentially save by changing your mind down the track.
REMEMBER – Finding out what you don’t like is just as valuable as finding out what you do like.
Spend some time volunteering with companies or campaigns you are passionate about. This could be at the local animal refuge or at local events that interest you. Volunteering will help you develop skills, grow your network and learn more about your interests.
How does backpacking through Asia or across South America sound? Backpacking will teach you more than anything else you can do in one year. If you can afford to go backpacking, GO FOR IT.
Play Sport Overseas
Playing sport overseas is a unique experience that allows you to travel the world while playing the sport you love. Whether you play rugby in New Zealand, cricket in Australia or netball in South Africa. Take your game to the next level whilst making friendships and memories to last a lifetime. The opportunity to meet new people, experience different cultures and play a sport you love is the ultimate way to spend a gap year.
These are just some gap year ideas for you to think about. Whatever you decide to do, I can promise that you will not be disadvantaged in any way by taking a year off.