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what should i do during a gap year?

I'm currently a senior in high school.

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Subject: Career question for you

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Rian’s Answer

During a gap year there are so many things to do. Here is just a list of a few.

Travel: Many people choose to travel during a gap year to explore new cultures, learn new languages, and gain new experiences. Traveling is often a great way to find out more about yourself and see what you like.

Work: A gap year can also be a good opportunity to gain work experience and save money for future education or other goals. You could look for part-time or full-time work, internships, or apprenticeships in a field that interests you. This could be anything that interests you, it's really a time to branch out and explore what you want to do.

Volunteer: Volunteering can be a great way to give back to your community or to a cause you care about. Volunteering often times connects you with other people who you might share a lot of interests with and is a great way to make friends outside of a school environment.
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Bhavna’s Answer

Taking a gap year can be a valuable opportunity to explore your interests, gain experience, and prepare for college or future career goals. Here are some productive ways to spend a gap year:

1. Travel: Traveling can be a great way to learn about different cultures, gain new perspectives, and explore your interests.

2. Volunteer Work: You could volunteer for a non-profit organisation or with a social cause to help others and gain valuable experience.

3. Internship or Job: An internship or job in a field that interests you can provide practical experience and help you decide on a future career path.

4. Creative Projects: Pursue creative projects such as writing, music, or art that interests you. This is a great way to work on your passion and improve your skills.

5. Language Learning: You can learn a new language or improve your communication skills in a foreign language.

6. Additional Courses: You might consider taking some additional courses or explore different career paths.

Remember, it's essential to use your gap year effectively, so your time is spent constructively to plan for a successful future.
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David’s Answer

Use the unrestrained time to gain work experience. Volunteering helps with communication and provides social interaction. Find a seasonal job. Also plan what courses you want to take once you start college.
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T.J.’s Answer

Hello Yonathan!

Gap years provide you with time to figure out what you want at this stage in your life.
What you do for your gap year depends on your personal reasons for starting one in the first place.

Many students take gap years because:
- They want to get work experience and explore a career field before committing to college.
- They want to travel, since they may have free time and few responsibilities.
- They want to boost their savings by working at a job.
- They feel burned out by school and need time to recharge their well-being.

All of these are valid and good reasons. What's most important is that you take action for yourself and your personal goals.

To Travel: Consider whether you have the funds to go abroad. Apply for formal programs that provide scholarships, financial aid, or a subsidy if possible.
To Explore Careers: Think about at least 3 jobs you might want to do. Search for + apply for jobs in your area.
To Boost Savings: Apply for a job that provides good hours and a good work environment. You'll likely work here for a while to build savings, so make sure the job is good for you.
To Recover from Burn-out: Focus on what brings you joy. Are there ways you can focus on your hobbies or passions? Could you use your skills to help others in your community (via volunteering)? Also - Look at what caused the burn-out in the first place. If you do decide to attend college, how can you minimize burn-out and take care of yourself?

Sending you the best as you explore taking a gap year :)
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Brandon’s Answer

I think that this depends on the reason you are taking a gap year. Are you taking the gap year just to take a break from school, trying to figure out what you wish to do in life, etc. If you have a reason to take the gap year, then take the gap year if you need to. If you don't have a reason and know what you would want to pursue in education then you probably should continue with school. Sometimes taking the gap year can cause a person uncertainty of what they wish to do, and the longer the gap the more you may not want to go back into school.
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Kristin’s Answer

Personally I am only pro gap year if you have specific life experience ( teaching skiing, volunteering, studying abroad)
It is difficult to regain your momentum in your education. Usually after having a full time job it is more difficult to embrace the broke life of a student. If you have no idea of your direction, start with your general ed classes. Attend guest lecture, talk to other students. Then if you cannot determine your course, take the gap year then.
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Dr. Joseph’s Answer

My best advice would be to find opportunities to complete certifications! If you are interested in project management, PMP is a fantastic certification that you can start to study for and obtain. This is a certification that will require you to have project management experience that you can get during school activities, events, and many other areas. The key is if you want to start at the basics, they do have beginner certifications!

In addition to this, you can seek out technology certifications like AWS for cloud computing or even six sigma.

Ultimately, i would recommend that you think about what your career aspirations are and utilize the time in between to obtain the certifications that you will be using.
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Brian’s Answer

The first thing that comes to my mind is this: Volunteer! Find a cause--whether it's through your place of worship, your favorite charity, or your favorite [fill in the blank]--and give it your all. Doing so, I believe, will make you a better student. But even more important than that, I think it will provide you with a greater sense of purpose for the rest of your life. That's what it did for me. In general, students spend a lot of time focussed on themselves (that's just the nature of being a student). Take the time to give back as a way of saying thank you for what you've accomplished at this point in your life.
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Todd’s Answer

Choosing to take a gap year between high school and college can be very beneficial. It's important not to waste this time, as these opportunities don't come by very often. From my own experience, when I told my parents that I wanted to take a gap year, they said no. Their reasoning was valid though, so I didn't argue. They felt that after taking a break from my formal education I may not want to go to college after that year was up. Understand that the high school experience and college experience are very different. In college you choose your classes and your schedule. You decide the amount of effort you put into your classes.

As your question involved what to do during a gap year, I would recommend not only a travel experience, but find a paid internship where you can learn about an industry and explore various departments. If you take a class or two at your local college, you'll not only earn some credits to use for the future, but the school's career center can help you with internships.

Good luck in whatever you choose to pursue during your gap year.

Todd recommends the following next steps:

Make sure you're committed to go to college after the gap year
Find an educational travel experience
Secure a paid internship where you can learn and explore
Take a class or 2 at a local college
Take advantage of that college's career center
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Chirayu’s Answer

A gap year can be a great opportunity to explore your interests, gain new experiences, and develop valuable skills before starting college. Here are a few ideas for things you could do during a gap year - Consider taking a trip to a new place to explore different cultures and gain new perspectives. You could plan a backpacking trip through Europe, volunteer in a developing country, or work on a farm or ranch. Consider volunteering for a non-profit organization or a community service project. This could be an opportunity to give back to your community and develop skills such as teamwork, leadership, and problem-solving. Consider taking a gap year job to gain work experience and earn money for college. This could be an opportunity to explore different career fields and gain valuable skills that will be useful in your future career. Consider interning or apprenticing in a field that interests you. This could be an opportunity to gain hands-on experience and learn about a career field before committing to a college major. Consider taking classes or workshops to develop new skills. This could be an opportunity to explore your interests and gain skills such as cooking, photography, or a new language. Remember, there is no one "right" way to spend a gap year. The most important thing is to use the time to explore your interests, develop skills, and gain new experiences that will help you grow and prepare for your future.
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