several pineapples at a party

Things to do in your gap year

You may have decided to take a gap year because you’re undecided about what you want to do with the rest of your life. Or perhaps you just want to take a break from books. Taking time off between your studies could give you the answers that you need.

Here are five ideas on what to do with your gap year.


During your gap year, you can volunteer. Volunteering will not only make you feel good, it’ll also make a difference in the lives you’ll touch. There are many places that are in need of volunteers. You can easily search the internet for places that need help. Volunteering will keep you busy and you’ll learn some stuff along the way.

Volunteering also looks good on your resume. Recruiters are usually impressed by someone who has volunteered before. It shows that you have compassion and you’re willing to work without getting paid. And it also shows that you’re willing to take initiative and have a zest for life.

Volunteering will boost your chances of being hired at your dream company because there are many skills you’ll learn along the way. For example, you could volunteer at a disadvantaged school to help the kids improve their English. And in the process, you might gain communication and problem-solving skills. Which can make you a viable candidate when you apply for a job.

Some companies also offer the opportunity for people to volunteer in their company. You may not get paid, but you’ll also have some form of experience to add to your CV and who knows, they might just hire you permanently. The experience that you’ll get will be invaluable.

Work abroad

Working abroad helps you try out fresh experiences. You can take a year off to go work abroad for a year. If you’re fresh out of high school, working overseas for a year could help you grow up. You won’t have your parents to chase after you and you’ll learn to be self-sufficient.There are other benefits to working overseas such as getting to experience a whole new country, meeting fresh faces and eating exotic food. You’ll be able to learn about their customs and you might even learn a new language. Imagine adding that you can speak French into your resume?

If you decide to work abroad make sure that you have health insurance, so if you get if you get sick or land up in hospital you’re covered. There are many types of health cares services offered by Essential Med that could benefit you.

Freelance job

You could start your own freelancing company. You can write, blog or do graphic design for companies. And the best part is you can provide this service right from your home and get paid.

Au pair

You can use the year to au pair, you’ll have the opportunity to babysit and still experience a new environment. When you aren’t looking after the kids, you’ll have the chance to try out new things and explore the city. You might fall in love with the family you stay with and build lifelong connections. Nothing makes you more responsible than looking after children. You’ll learn how to discipline them and when to say no. And you’ll learn to come up with creative ways to keep them entertained.

You could au pair in a country that you’ve never been to and experience  a whole new culture. You’ll learn to be independent. You won’t have your parents to hold your hand every step of the way. You’ll ultimately be on your own and have to learn how to navigate life.

There’s a chance you could also get to travel with the family for free. You could land up sipping cocktails in Manhattan. Or explore the streets of NYC and experience the hustle and bustle of the concrete jungle. Or maybe even find yourself lounging around on the beaches of Miami.

Upgrade your marks

You might have done dismally in your matric year. And couldn’t earn enough admission points to get into a University. You don’t have to do all your subjects again. You could pick two or three subjects that you didn’t do well in and upgrade them during the year. It’ll be easier for you because you have done them before and already know what to expect. Upgrading could improve your marks and give you entrance into the college or varsity of your dreams.

However you choose to spend your gap year, make it count. Make sure that you don’t waste it just sitting at home the whole year. There are many opportunities that you could look at that could help you have a fruitful year. You could choose to travel, study or volunteer. The options are endless.

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