I wanted to go to grad school right after finishing undergrad, but once I realized this, it was too late. All the application deadlines had passed for the upcoming semester, so this meant I was left with one option: a gap year.
I never intended on taking a gap year, but I’m so grateful I did.
A gap year can mean so many things depending on what you want to do. Here are some of the many advantages:
I got a job right after undergrad to continue making a steady income. It wasn’t my dream job, but it helped to pay the bills. I started saving money, which helped me out in the long run. I didn’t realize how much I would depend on my gap-year savings when I went to grad school after the year was up. It taught me the value of pinching pennies and the difference between needing and wanting things.
I got time to hang out with coworkers outside of work, catch up with old friends and meet new strangers. I didn’t intend on making new friendships, but sometimes, they appear at the most unexpected times and in the most unexpected places. It’s hard making friends outside of a university environment, so a gap year is a time for new connections.
Because I’m career-oriented, I took this gap year to work on my networking skills. I printed more business cards and took advantage of any chance I got to exchange it with someone. A strong social network will get you places in the future.
TREATING YO’ SELF
A gap year gives you a lot of “you” time. Whether you’re saving up for a fun spa day or a new car, figure out what it is that you really want to give yourself or do for yourself, and get it done.
SEEING THE WORLD
If you have the free time to go on vacation, take advantage of it. Travel somewhere you’ve always wanted to see. Go with your best friends, or make it a solo trip. Either way, you’ll learn a lot about yourself and the world around you.
So, you’ve got a year off and still plan to continue your education? No time like the present to study for that GRE or MCAT or whatever entrance exam you need to complete for grad school applications.
Think about what you really want. Think of all your hopes, dreams, and wishes, and make them come true. This is the time for you to do what you’ve always wanted to do, but never had the time to before.
A year comes and goes quickly, so whatever you do, make the most of it.
What would you do during your ultimate gap year? Let us know in the comments!
(Featured image via @aspynovard)