Is taking a gap year really worth it?
A lot of people feel like they’re falling behind if they take a break. They graduate from Uni later and they think their missing out on valuable learning time.
However, if you use a gap year to its full potential it can be just as valuable for your future as University!
In this video, I’m going to explain how you can make a gap year REALLY worth it and make sure that you don’t fall behind.
Tip #1: Do You Have a Plan
One key questions I ask students who want to take a gap year after school is: “why?”
Often, the reasons are:
- I’ve had enough studying.
- I want to take some time out.
- I’ve got no frickin clue what I want to do.
- I’d love to travel.
- I’d love to work out what I want to do with my life.
After this I dig a little further and I say:
“okay, awesome, what’s your gap year going to ACTUALLY look like? What’s the plan, what are you going to do to solve these problems or achieve your set goals.”
Usually, they look at me with a blank face. A lot of the time, students do very little thinking about what their gap year will actually look like and how they’re going to make it worth it!
They only want to take a gap year because they’re not ready to do the hard thinking about University or the life path they’re going to follow just yet.
Rather, you need to make a conscious effort to use this time to design your life and the experiences you want to have. You can’t be passive about it!
Tip #2: Learn New Skills
If you want to make your gap year worth it you need to follow this tip.
It’s really simple, I want you to sit down, do some research and write three skills that you want to learn on your gap year.
This is because a gap year should also be about learning. It’s not just about going on a Contiki tour and having lots of fun (even though you can definitely do this as well).
By jotting down these three skills you want to learn you’re ensuring that at the end of your gap year you’re more employable and you’ve got more opportunities.
You need to be creating opportunities. THAT’S how you make a gap year worth it.
Tip #3: Identify your Desired Experiences
Next, I want you to brainstorm a list of five experiences you’re dying to have.
This could be travel or any other type of experience. It could be anything that contributes to learning skills or just having a fun and valuable time.
Now once you’ve got these, you should start to identify how much it’s going to cost and how you’re going to fund each of these experiences.
Do I work? What sort of job do I get? Once you’ve identified that, you can also start planning when you’re going to fulfil these experience that’ll make your gap year worth it.
Tip #4: Time Allocation
Now, you need to start mapping out how you’re going to learn your desired skills and have your ideal experiences in the timespan of one year.
For example, you could dedicate four months of your gap year to each of the skills you want to learn and pinpoint exactly when you want to chase you’re desired experiences.
This way, you’re intentionally making sure that none of your gap year is totally worth it and your either building your capabilities or having an awesome time!
Tip #5: Don’t Pressure Yourself
My final suggestion is that if you’re going to take a gap year, don’t put too much pressure on yourself to answer the question of what you’re going to do with your life
This is because the more pressure you put on yourself, the less likely you are to actually get clarity on what it is.
It’s much better to come at it from the position of: “what skills and experiences do I want to have once the years over.”
This will open up opportunities for your life beyond your gap year and beyond school.
By using this time to follow your actual passions and interest, your far more likely to understand what you want to do with yourself than if you’re just sitting around thinking about it! If you do this, your gap year will be TOTALLY worth it.
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