Discover your passions in an unconventional classroom!
As we near the start of our professional careers, it’s easy to feel both limitless and limited at the same time. Should you work in a big firm in a city, start a small business in your hometown, or is the right pathway for you actually laid somewhere in between? Do you even have all of the options available for you to decide? Really, it’s difficult to foresee where or how you’ll find your niche.
When things look empirically nebulous, it’s important to make a priority of finding and getting to know ourselves before moving ahead. What are your interests, your passions – your real passions? A gap year is a perfect time to find out.
An excellent way to find yourself is through adventure. Going abroad lets you experience perspectives and cultures you may not have discovered otherwise, and there are so many ways to go about it! Read about some of our picks here!
More than once, I’ve stared at my homework and wished I could be working on a story or sharpening my Photoshop skills instead. Getting a degree is time-consuming, but taking a break during or after it allows you to focus on the activities that interest you instead.
If you have a passion for hiking, throwing pottery, woodworking; anything, this is the time to explore these hobbies as deeply as you wish.
Work or Intern
Perhaps you’re not ready to commit to a long-term, full-time job, but you’d still like to work and gain professional experience. If so, a great use of your gap year can be interning or doing some other type of temporary work. This lets you gain some professional experience, learn more about a particular field, and potentially save up for future ventures.
In Spring 2018, I took a gap semester and did the Disney College Program. For four months, I worked at Walt Disney World Resort as a Disney cast member and it was an incredibly memorable experience. I made so many friends and connections from all around the world, whom I’d have never met otherwise, and I’m so grateful that I have. If you’re looking for a magical experience for your gap year, I’d definitely recommend checking out the DCP to you!
Volunteering is a great way to learn, work, and discover more about yourself. Whether it takes you halfway across the world or to your local community center, there are infinite ways to make a difference and change the world. Learn more about how to get started here.
Take Part-Time Courses
Even though you’re taking a break from your studies, enrolling in a part-time course can be incredibly gratifying. The course doesn’t have to relate to your major, nor does it have to run through your university; local community centers, art studios, language schools, and other institutes also offer valuable options that will broaden your horizons and teach you new skills.
This summer, I started taking Korean language lessons at a private school and it’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Although I absolutely love my college and major, this experience feels like the first time I’m studying something -in its entirety- because I’m choosing to, rather than because it’s a major or general education requirement, and I still come to every class excited to learn more.
A gap year is definitely what you make of it. It’s a time for adventure, trying new things, and most importantly learning about yourself. No matter what you choose, the possibilities are truly limitless.
Baruch College in Manhattan
After earning her ears at Disney, Addie moved on to study Journalism, Creative Writing, and Photography at Baruch College in Manhattan. She is interning for Macmillan Learning as a Student Ambassador, but in her spare time, you can find her tucked away in a café, crafting stories or editing photos and videos, with earbuds fixed firmly in her ears. Don’t be afraid to interrupt and say hello; she always enjoys meeting new friends (and perhaps indulging them with music recommendations too)!
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