Taking a Gap Year? 5 Things You Can Do to Make Your Break Fulfilling

Buckle up, because your gap year is about to get seriously lit!

Before you start panicking about your gap year and become overwhelmed with decisions on what to do and what not to do, let’s take a moment to remind you of one thing. Taking a year off is a commendable initiative; sometimes, a speed breaker is exactly what you need to breathe in life fully and slow down the pace. 

No matter the reason behind your break—whether before commencing college, after graduation or just to upskill yourself rather than being in the constant rat race—we are not here to judge. Instead, we’re here to guide you through your journey and offer ideas to make your free time fulfilling, rather than just sitting around. 

Therefore, in this article, we’re dishing out the juiciest, most epic ideas to turn your gap year into a wild ride of self-discovery and laughter. From volunteering escapades to jet-setting adventures, we have got the lowdown on transforming your break into the most fulfilling chapter of your life.

What to do during a gap year? 

Volunteering

Of the people, by the people, for the people! 

Image from Freepik 

Dedicated to making a difference and giving back? Volunteering could be your perfect fit. Begin by pinpointing your interest and goal—be it teaching, conservation or community service. Look up community events on LinkedIn and Facebook (Meta) and sign up online. If your budget allows, consider international volunteering programs can be a good idea. Of course, be sure to do your homework to ensure the organizations you’re looking to join are credible and safe.

Volunteering not only allows you to contribute positively but also leaves you feeling fulfilled. It’s a fantastic way to beef up your college applications and resumes, showcasing your commitment to community and personal growth. Beyond that, volunteering connects you with people from all walks of life, enriching your own perspective and fostering gratitude for the world around you. 

Taking online courses along with internships/freelancing 

A year of online wisdom and real-world experiences. 

Image from Freepik

Immerse yourself in a year of online learning paired with real-world experience. Kickstart this journey by zeroing in on what fascinates you. Then, look for trustworthy online education providers that offer courses in those subjects. Platforms such as edX, LinkedIn Learning and Coursera offer numerous possibilities. 

Once you’ve nailed down your courses, it’s time to venture into the world of remote internships. Websites like Indeed, LinkedIn and Internshala are great places to find virtual internships. Don’t hesitate to also approach businesses or organizations directly—they’re often on the lookout for remote interns eager to contribute and learn.

Balancing online courses with internships demands discipline. Forge a schedule that honors your commitments—prioritizing tasks and setting achievable goals are your best allies against feeling swamped.

For the creatively inclined, freelancing presents a golden opportunity to put your skills into practice, from graphic design and content creation to social media management. The gig economy is flourishing, making platforms like Upwork or Fiverr ideal for showcasing your talents and managing your projects independently

City explorations and blogging 

Turn those city streets into your playground.

Image from Freepik

One of the best gap year ideas for 18-year-olds (or anyone ready to discover the world around them)! Embarking on city explorations is a fantastic way to soak in diverse cultures, broaden your horizons and create lasting memories. With the help of social media, you can share these cool finds with the world via vlogging or blogging!

The best part? It doesn’t matter how much cash you’ve got in your pocket. You can uncover the hidden gems of your city or shine a spotlight on those local traditions that you think the world should know about. Grab your camera or your phone and start capturing your journeys, the people you meet, and yes, every single bite of that amazing local food.

This isn’t just about snapping pics or jotting down notes. It’s your chance to boost your creative skills—writing, photography, and even videography. Plus, you’ll be polishing your editing skills to tell your story, your way. Who knows? This could be your ticket to becoming the next big thing on YouTube or Instagram as a travel influencer.

Entrepreneurial endeavors 

Let your passions guide you and turn them into ventures!

Image by pressfoto in Freepik

Your gap year is the perfect time to let those entrepreneurial dreams take flight. Imagine turning what you love into something that not only fills your heart but maybe your wallet too. 

You’ve got a passion, right? Maybe it’s crafting the coolest stickers, designing jewelry that tells a story, baking cakes that are too pretty to eat, or maybe it’s something entirely different. Why not turn that passion into your very own small business? And with the magic of the internet and social media, starting up doesn’t have to drain your savings.

From dropshipping, where you sell products without ever stocking an inventory, to showcasing your handmade creations on Instagram or Facebook Marketplace, the digital world is your oyster. Social media is a goldmine for entrepreneurs, allowing you to rake in some cash without having to spend a fortune. From Instagram to TikTok, there are endless opportunities to turn your creativity into profit, all from the comfort of your home. 

Take care of your mental and physical well-being

Self-care is the new superpower. 

Image by rawpixel.com on Freepik

It’s okay to take a break from everything and just concentrate on becoming healthier over this time. Start by crafting a daily routine that gets you moving. Whether it’s a morning jog, a yoga session or hitting the gym, physical activity is a game-changer for both your body and mind.

But it’s not just about moving; it’s about nourishing your body too. Aim for a balanced diet that fuels your day. And when it comes to your mind, why not give mindfulness a shot? Deep breathing, meditation or whatever helps you find your zen can do wonders.

Don’t forget to sprinkle in some hobbies that light up your creative spark. And staying connected? Absolutely essential. Whether it’s a video call, a quick text or hanging out in person, keeping in touch with your loved ones is crucial for a solid support network.

If you’re feeling stuck or just need someone to talk to, reaching out for professional help is a strength, not a weakness. Whether it’s therapy, a support group or counseling, it’s all about taking care of you. Oh, and let’s not forget about the power of a good night’s sleep. Trust us, your body and mind will thank you.

Final thoughts

Taking a gap year is a life-changing chance to start an odyssey of self-discovery, personal development and significant experiences. It’s a chance to step out of your comfort zone, learn from the world and uncover facets of yourself you never knew existed.

Keep in mind that having a successful gap year is about more than just the activities you undertake—it’s about the experiences, insights and relationships you develop along the way. Here’s to the journey ahead, filled with growth, discovery and the joy of living life to the fullest!

Also read: 

Header Image Courtesy of Pexels 

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