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Stepping Into the Freedom Box During Gap Years

Updated on September 22, 2014

A gap year is considered a deferral taken either after high school, before attending college, or in between semesters. Think of this time as freedom to explore what you are passionate about, and what you really want to do with your life, but may be too afraid to try.

Generally, students will volunteer, travel within and outside of the United States, and participant in internships. There are no rules, guidelines or restrictions of what a gap year should consist of. It is about exploring your journey in life and being open-minded. The world is at your hands.


There are a lot of opportunities in volunteering. First ask yourself: What do I want out of life? What are my passions? What are my hobbies? Make a list and start your research. Interview someone in a profession you are interested in, or who is doing the exact same thing you want to one day. You can also watch some of these interviews on YouTube. Volunteering provides you with those interpersonal skills that will be vital to whatever career you choose.


Learn a new language and travel. There are programs abroad that will introduce you to new worlds, foods and living. Learning a new language while temporarily living abroad is a great way to explore the possibilities and unknown. You will be able to meet new people, build your resume and life experiences. When doing your research, there will be different eligibility requirements for certain abroad and language programs. Make sure you get all the facts. Even if you don’t want to go abroad, there are many traveling programs within the United States.


Finding an internship is an excellent way to give you on-the-job true experience in a career field you want to work in. The reason an internship is so important, is that many graduates find on their quest to find a job, the description requires work experience. So adding an internship to your resume is very beneficial. Both paid and non-paid internships are available everywhere. There are many internship programs, which provide college credits as well. Check with your college adviser regarding the requirements and the credit amount of any internships you find.

Start your road map on what you’d like to do during your gap year. Write down some possibilities and take action. It could be as simple as calling, emailing, or writing to get your mind flowing.


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