Nowadays, you’ll often find yourself desiring a sense of reprieve either from school or your career. The pandemic has cornered everyone and on top of being a functional human being, hustle culture has everyone on edge. Amidst this, people have become more attracted to finding the best gap year programs in order to rest and realign.
But what is a gap year program?
This concept is most well-known in the West. High school graduates or fresh grads take gap years to prepare themselves for the next phase of their lives.
Gap years are rooted in the belief that everyone has to develop themselves first may it be through volunteer works, travel, and other types of immersion.
Aside from that, gap years are seen as a necessary down time for you to realign and reassess your goals. More like, a year where you “find yourself.”
However, with the current climate, traveling seems to be out of the prospect and some people even think that engaging in this activity is tactless. Of course, risking your health and of others for the sake of “finding yourself” is impractical and daresay, stupid?
But that doesn’t mean you’re not entitled to recuperate before burnout finally extinguishes your fire! The best gap year program doesn’t have to cost other people’s lives AND your pockets. The best one is something that you create yourself.
With that said, here are ideas on how to make the most of your gap year
The number one thing you have to do first is reassessing your current goals and creating new ones that align with what you see yourself in the future. Let’s say you just graduated from highschool, the most crucial goal you have in mind is your major for college or if you still have to go to college right?
It’s an intimidating prospect but you have to be practical in setting your goals. The key here is by setting S.M.A.R.T.E.R. goals.
Wrirte out your goals clearly and make sure that it’s practical. For example, if you’re deciding for a major, list down the possibilities and how you can discover each field in a span of a month or so. Nurture the skills that you already have and see if it aligns with your goals.
Here’s a comprehensive video on how you can start doing this!
Curating the content you consume
Everyone thinks that a gap year program should be as immersive as possible. While it may be true, they often restrict what “immersion” can be! You can simply begin to immerse yourself through consuming content that aligns with your goals.
Do you want to practice minimalism in your life? Then watch documentaries on it AND ponder on it rather than jumping on the next video. Every time you consume content, you have to sit on it and make sure that you won’t just be storing it in your brain for quite some time.
The key here is to make sure that whatever you consume is relevant to your development. Don’t just Netflix and chill all day long!
You have to remember, that you are what you consume and it’s not just your diet, or the people you surround yourself with. People often overlook how advantageous technology is now for one’s development. Social media may be kind of “toxic” IF you don’t use it intentionally!
So curate the content you consume right now.
Also, before you dive in, you can collect recommendations from friends, family, or even strangers on social media. Make the internet work for you not against you!
Learning a new skill through free online courses
Right now, you’ll be able to find a plethora of free online courses in platforms like Coursera, UDemy, and Alison. In fact, you can learn pretty much anything may it be on psychology, tech, and digital marketing.
The perks of online courses also are that they are flexible when it comes to completion. You don’t have to follow strict deadlines and you can even take tests multiple times until you feel that you’ve mastered it. But it still gives you a sense of structure that only gives you more space to learn for yourself.
One of the best online courses are The Science of Success by Paula Caproni and Introduction to Personal Branding by Kimberly Barker both of which are easy to digest and helps you profoundly.
Create a startup or advocacy online
Do you have a penchant for making stickers? Do you like calligraphy? Are you passionate about feminism? Whatever hobbies you are passionate about, you can nurture it even more during your gap year through online means. It’s never too late to pick up that hobby you loved before!
The key here is to just create at your own pace, don’t compare your current progress to other people. Just enjoy the process and let happiness envelop you.
The best gap year programs doesn’t have to be about traveling and immersion with other cultures. More often than not, these types of programs can be a distraction instead of a way for you to realign yourself. Take the time to discover what ticks you, what habits you want to get rid of, and what parts of yourself you want to nurture.
Not everything has to be flashy or Instagram worthy! Don’t fall into the trap that you have to glamorize your gap year just because everybody seems to be living their best life. Remember, we are still in a pandemic, and the bare minimum you have to do is just survive.
Read more motivational quotes for new beginnings here to hype you up in planning your personal gap year program!