Many people, especially those of the millennial generation, are taking a year or gap in between college and work to “find themselves” in this highly competitive world.
This article will give you all the information on what it means if you decide to take a break from your career path and how benefits of doing so include financial independence, increased self-confidence and development, as well as personal growth that can last for years after returning back into society.
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From the age of five to twenty-two, most males are on a never-ending conveyor belt of schooling. A guy is expected to come up every autumn with pencils and textbooks in hand until he graduates from college or graduate school. Have you ever taken a step back and questioned why something happened the way it did? Why does education have to be a never-ending process till you finish? Who’s to say?
For a long time, young men in Australia and the United Kingdom have rejected that view. In such nations, ten percent of men and women take a gap year to travel the globe and put themselves to the test. The gap year is a practice that is steadily gaining traction in other parts of the world, such as North America. It’s for a good purpose, too.
30% of college freshmen do not return for their sophomore year, and many males do not choose their major until their junior or senior years (sometimes as a 5th or 6th year senior). They ride the conveyor belt for a long time until it suddenly stops, leaving them with a liberal arts degree, no future plans, and a lack of confidence and abilities to begin living independently.
I might have easily ended up in that situation. My freshman year was a shambles, with me staying up late playing video games and seldom picking up a book. I finished the year with a 2.8 grade point average and no sense of growing up or knowing what I wanted to do with my life.
My sophomore year, though, I did not return. Instead, hundreds of miles from home, I found myself in Tijuana, Mexico, learning Spanish and meeting people from all walks of life. I was a completely different person when I returned to the United States two years later. I’d stepped up to the plate in a big manner. I had a new work ethic, was more focused, and had the courage to chart my own course for the future. I had a clear idea of what I wanted out of life. I graduated from college with a liberal arts degree, the finest wife in the world, and a life plan.
What is a gap year, exactly?
A gap year is a period of time (which may be as short as a semester or as long as a couple of years) during which a person takes time off between or during their academic years. It’s most common to take it after graduating from high school and before beginning college. It may, however, be done at any time while in college, or after graduation and before starting a career or going to graduate school. Gap years used to be a perk reserved for the wealthy; a guy might travel throughout Europe on his trust money. However, for many service visits, all you need is a plane ticket to and from your location. Furthermore, many occupations will pay you well enough that you will be able to save money while doing them.
Only your imagination and ambitions restrict your options for what to accomplish during your gap year. You may travel, teach, intern, volunteer, or do a mix of these things. People volunteer in national parks, dig wells in third-world nations, serve as missionaries for their churches, teach English in Asia, and become sailors, among other things.
When it comes to picking your adventure, the most essential thing is to look for something that will help you develop as a man, something that will actually challenge you emotionally, physically, and intellectually. It’s critical that the experience take you beyond of your comfort zone. A gap year should not be used to prolong one’s youth; rather, it should be used to mark the transition from boy to man.
The gap year experience has spawned a whole business; you can engage experts and firms to discover and arrange the experience for you. Such enterprises may be useful to some extent, and there’s nothing wrong with enrolling in an organized gap year program. However, make sure there isn’t too much handholding. The entire goal of the experience is to help you mature by forcing you to do it alone and rely on your own wits to live.
Why Should You Take a Gap Year?
To be more focused. It’s easy to spend a lot of time at college by getting caught up in partying or being immobilized by uncertainty about what degree to pursue. It’s also difficult to figure out what you want to accomplish with your life. Don’t waste your time trying to figure it out on a $30,000 tuition bill. A gap year provides you with an opportunity to learn more about yourself and what you want out of life. You’ll learn to be self-sufficient. You’ll return to college knowing what your objectives are and how to attain them. So a gap year may not only offer you some much-needed direction, but it can also save you money in the long run.
To Grow Up. Even after you leave for school, your parents are usually just a short drive or phone call away. You may contact them whenever you have a problem and they will advise you how to solve it. Breaking off from your previous life completely will drive you to make choices on your own.
In order to improve your resume. Showing your future employer that you spent a year in Uganda digging wells can set you apart from individuals who have just worked at Applebee’s as a waitress.
To be able to communicate in a foreign language. A year is enough time to become proficient in a variety of foreign languages. It’s a talent you’ll have for the rest of your life, as well as one that employers value highly.
You’ll return to a (hopefully) better economic situation. If you’re a recent college or graduate school graduate, you already know how bad the employment market is. Why not take a year off, get some important skills, and return to a (hopefully) better economy with a broader resume?
Ideas for a gap year
As I previously said, the possibilities for your gap year adventure are almost endless. The perfect gap year, in my view, mixes doing something enjoyable you’ve always wanted to do with gaining a useful skill. For example, if you’ve always wanted to live in New York City and believe you’d want to be a teacher, sign up to volunteer at a school there via Americorps. Get an internship at the Louvre if you’ve always been captivated by art and wanted to live in Paris. Of course, there’s also value in doing something you’ll probably never use again, something completely out of the ordinary, just for the sake of it and for an unforgettable experience. Here are some suggestions to help you decide what you want to do:
Work on an Alaskan fishing boat. Have you been watching “Deadliest Catch” and think you’d want to try your hand at making a lot of money while risking a watery grave? Hold on there, mate; getting a job catching crab as an unskilled greenhorn is incredibly tough. Despite the risks, many men are prepared to take a chance in order to earn six months’ wage in a matter of days. So you’ll have to work your way up, gaining experience fishing salmon and doing a variety of low-paying jobs before being considered.
Make a career as a forest firefighter. It’s something many guys have fantasized of. Living in the woods, putting out a roaring wildfire, and jumping out of an aircraft are all things I’ve done. The bad news is that it isn’t quite as glamorous as you would have imagined. The good news is that if you work hard enough, you can be employed.
Become a member of the Peace Corps. When you’re a college student, you have a lot of “me-time.” You could be wanting to focus exclusively on other people’s needs, objectives, and wants for a few minutes after worrying about your own for four years. Why not devote 10% of your 22 years to helping others and attempting to make a difference in the world? While we commonly associate the Peace Corps with living in a grass hut in Fiji or farming in Africa, you’re just as likely to be teaching at a school or spreading computer literacy these days.
Participate in Americorps. Check out Americorps if foreign travel doesn’t appeal to you and you’re not ready to commit to the Peace Corps’ two-year commitment. Americorps is a government financed program similar to the Peace Corps in which you volunteer full-time for a year. There are several Americorps jobs available, including working with the elderly, building trails, disaster assistance, tutoring children, and teaching English as a second language. “Americorps” is actually just a catch-all term for hundreds of various volunteer opportunities. Kate served in Americorps for a year, and it was one of the most rewarding experiences of her life. She volunteered with the Notre Dame Mission Volunteers, which she strongly recommends.
Make a career as a Park Ranger. If you like nature and desire to devote your life to it for a period of time, being a park ranger might be an excellent choice for you. There are a range of permanent, temporary, and seasonal opportunities available in national and state parks to suit your needs.
Working at Outward Bound is a great way to meet new people. Working for a wonderful firm like Outward Bound might be ideal for your gap year if you like outdoors, adventurous activities, and meeting new people. You get to go on exciting outdoor adventures while also making a difference in people’s lives. Nice.
Make a career as a merchant mariner. Young men seeking adventure have long found a home in the Merchant Marines. You must first contact the Coast Guard in order to secure a job with the MM. You could also choose to enroll in the Paul Hall Center for Maritime Training and Education’s free 24-week course at the Seafarers Harry Lundberg School of Seamanship, which is an entry-level training program for young individuals interested in jobs in the US maritime sector.
Note: If you’re searching for gap year chances on the internet, be wary of the numerous scammers that claim to be able to secure you a job or reveal the secrets of obtaining a job…for a fee. You won’t be able to locate most cool jobs by searching on the internet. Often, all you need to do is show up and be really persistent.
The “financial benefits of taking a gap year” is an article that discusses the financial benefits of taking a gap year. The article will give you insight into how much money you can save by taking a break from school.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it worth it to take a gap year?
A: Yes, it is worth taking a gap year. It will give you time to experience what life has to offer in other countries and learn more about yourself.
What are the pros and cons of a gap year?
A: The pros of a gap year are that you get to explore new countries, find your passion and make lifelong friends. The cons are that it is not easy to go back into the work force after so much time away from school or working 9-5 hours every day.
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