Student with a backpack looking over the street

With many of you finishing college Summer and looking to take a gap year, now’s the time to start planning! A year may seem like a long time, but it will over quickly, and without proper organisation you might not get round to everything you set out to do, see and achieve. Here are a few pointers to get you started to make out that perfect year:

Planning is key 

There are so many opportunities available to you on your gap year that you don’t want to waste you time thinking about what to do that you miss opportunities, work experience and internships etc. To ensure you achieve your goals within the year, start planning as early as possible.

Gain experiences

Think about what you want to get out of your year and whether you’ve got a specific goal in mind. For example, this might be working with children or animals. This could be for example through a job volunteering in a rescue centre or orphanage so when you come to apply for your first job or apply to uni you’ll already have some experience which will make you stand out. 

The benefit of time 

Being free all year round means that you can work when others are at uni or college. Internships and work experience opportunities might be available all year round however those in the summer might have more applicants so up your chances by applying for things in term time. 

A skill for yourself

Beyond taking a gap year to improve your chances in the workplace you might want to think about doing something entirely for yourself. Examples of this might include skiing or surfing, or learning a language. What’s great about these ambitions is that you can combine your hobbies with earning money, for example it’s quite simple to become a snowboarding instructor for a season, and you’ll gain plenty of other skills and experiences as well. 

Earning money

If you are thinking of going travelling, it’s likely that you’ll work to save money before going away. Jobs such as temping in offices, or working in a café are a great way to earn money and also good experience for when you come back to the UK and have to find work whilst at uni. 

A gap year doesn’t necessarily mean travelling

Most people think of a gap year as going abroad, but remember that you can also use your time to gain experiences in the UK. You might even work for a whole year before starting uni, and this can be a great way to learn about the world of work and help you decide where you want your future to go. 

Do your research

Find out what others have said about their trips, read other people’s stories and see what takes your fancy. It might be that you thought you knew what you wanted to do, but when you looked into it there was so much more on offer and something that suited you down to the ground. 

Take time 

Taking a year out can help you along the way, so make the most of it while you can. There’s the obvious advantage of having to manage your money and your time all by yourself, and be organised without having a parent for an alarm click. You might also learn to cook and do your own washing for the first time. However, another advantage is that a gap year gives you time to stop and think about what you want from your life, where you want to go, how you see your future panning out and how you should go about getting there. 

A lack of a concrete plan

With a year ahead of you it’s not about planning every single day, but having a few goals to achieve. Once you’ve got your goals in places, for example teaching, working or volunteering abroad, you can then go from there and see what takes your fancy.