2020 turned into a year that none of us ever could have predicted. Well, apart from Bill Gates. Schools all over the world sent their students and staff to work from home. Many campuses continue to stay closed over the fall semester due to the current situation in the world. As a result many students have chosen to take a gap year instead of attending classes online and missing out on all the college campus fun.
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There are different reasons why students decide to take a gap year. Some need a break after spending 12 continuous years in school. Some want to get some space to think about what they want to do next, maybe college isn’t it? Some want to travel the world or intern at a company to gain some tangible work experience.
Whatever your reason is - taking a gap year is something that can be frowned upon by some people. What those people don’t realize is that taking a gap year can have a real impact on your own life and what you decide to do next. You are probably not taking a gap year because you want to lie on the couch from AM to PM watching Netflix all day. If you are - then you should probably rethink your decision. However - let me tell you why taking a gap year in 2020/2021 is a cool thing to do.
Why is this year a golden moment?
School in the fall will be different and if online learning is not your forté, then it could be a really good moment to upskill outside of school. In the coming years, about the time you make it into the job market - employers will be wondering what you did during 2020 when the world was in crisis mode. If you then can show that you made a decision to go out in the real world to make a difference when the world needed it the most. You will be more attractive to a range of employers. Especially since the world now has found itself facing a lot of problems that we by no means could have predicted.
What should you think about before you take a gap year 2020/2021?
Make a plan!
What should your gap year lead to? Set up some SMART goals and follow your plan. And please remember to reflect throughout the year to make sure you are paying attention to your progress.
Build a network
Whatever you decide to do during your gap year, make sure you connect with the people you meet. Connect with them on LinkedIn, follow them on Instagram or go old school and take down their phone number. Having a solid network will always benefit your future. Well, only if you have the courage to leverage it of course. 80% of jobs are never advertised - nope, they get filled by candidates from the network of a company’s own employees. I’m just saying!
Follow travel restrictions and stay safe
Many would say that a gap year is not complete without spending time abroad. That is not true. You can still get that cultural exchange and make an impact for others either domestically or by working on projects online. If you are interested in doing projects online, Xperienceships have some programs available allowing you to do exactly that.
To explore your career online - check out the Xplore Program HERE.
Are you more interested in making a difference? Check out the Free X Challenge it allows you to work on socially responsible projects with international teams.
Good luck on your gap year - remember to make a difference and to make the most of it.