If you are part of this year’s graduating class, first of all—congratulations! This year, graduating students might not have had the traditional ceremonies they hoped for, but their accomplishment is still something to celebrate. The past few years were undoubtedly full of challenges and unforgettable memories, and you’re probably wondering what is in store for you.
It’s straight to work or a job/internship for some people, while others enlist in the military or take a service opportunity. Others opt for further studies and are entering college in the fall. If you don’t see yourself taking on any of these roles, you might want to take a gap year.
What is a gap year?
A gap or sabbatical year is when a person takes time off between high school and college to pursue projects, travel, or rest. Some people take their gap year after college and use it as a transitional phase between school and work. In some places like the U.S., gap years are not very popular, while they are common in others, like European countries.
Many students feel like a gap year gives them opportunities to explore the world, get to know themselves better, and settle into their interests before committing to a job, university, or other long-term plans. Though each person takes their gap year differently, here are some common ideas that many people pursue.
Use your year to travel
At present, this can be challenging, especially since most of the world is still in some form of lockdown due to COVID-19. Usually, traveling the world is one of the most popular ways people spend their gap year. You can either explore your home country or go backpacking abroad, stay for weeks, or live there for months!
Find opportunities to volunteer
As with travel, plenty of international volunteering programs have been put on hold because of the pandemic. Typically, students travel abroad not just for recreation but also to support a cause.
You could also volunteer domestically during a gap year—various opportunities allow you to support and care for children, the elderly, the environment, the poor, and so much more.
Get into a virtual internship
Plenty of students are happy to take part-time work or an internship during their gap year. It boosts their CV and gives them a chance to learn the ropes without fully immersing themselves in employment. You could try a virtual or remote internship if you want to keep your hours flexible.
Virtual work allows participants to select the duration of their program. If you want to commit 20 hours for one month, that’s alright, and it’s perfectly fine if you want to commit more hours. A virtual internship allows you to pursue other projects during your gap year, and you can even tailor your experience to your interests.
Each student views their gap year differently. For some, it’s the best way to take a rest before plunging back into academics, while others take it as a time to develop their interests and find out what excites them. If you haven’t fully committed to a post-high school plan, perhaps a gap year is just what you need to clarify things!
Spend your gap year building your career and take on a digital opportunity at Virtual Internships. We offer online internships for high school students exploring options for professional development. We also have an online internship program for university students, covering more than a dozen fields. Get in touch with us today to learn more!