Result season is upon us, and whatever the outcome, there are many options to sift through and decisions to be made – including planning a gap year. But, through it all, remember, it is not the end of the world if you didn’t quite get the grades.
Should I plan a gap year?
Over the next week or two, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter will be lit up with celebrities mentioning how they didn’t quite get the grades.
Whilst they are correct, some of the most successful people didn’t get top marks, it is also worth noting some did and decided higher education wasn’t for them. So, don’t fret. Everything happens for a reason, and it is time to look at the opportunities ahead.
The next 12 months can shape your life, whether that is starting university or embarking on a different career path. Re-sitting exams or taking time out to plan a gap year to work out what you want – and get a well-deserved rest after 14 years of school!
There is no right or wrong way to ‘do’ a gap year. Whether your dream is to backpack across the globe, volunteer in Africa or take a course that gives you life-long qualifications. Taking a year out will bring you life experience and opportunity.
Do what you want to do
Chances are you have a friend or two who are also on gap years. Whilst planning with a friend can take away the nerves and anxiety of going it alone, ask yourself if your plans match up. There’s no point in travelling together if one of you wants to spend months skiing and the other is looking to trek across Peru. Research what you want to do, and don’t be afraid to go your separate ways, you can always meet mid-year somewhere exotic.
Ask: Will I enjoy it?
I might look great on a job application, but if you sign up for something and it doesn’t spark a fire of excitement inside you, it isn’t the gap year for you, so keep looking.
Plot your route
Route planning and time scales are the keys to gap year success. If you plan to work abroad, you may need time to arrange working holiday visas before departure. If you love winter and want epic snow and mountains, you need to research when the ski season starts and ends. For year round sun, you may need to look at long-haul destinations between October and April.
Check your finances
Budget is essential – most gap programmes cost money, even if you are looking to volunteer. Costs generally cover flights, accommodation, training and other essentials. If you are looking at an internship, make sure to ask how much work you will get and clarify that this will cover your living costs.
Boost your CV
Experiencing other cultures and lifestyles will give you life skills which will apply to future job roles. In addition, gap year volunteering courses and internships show a great work ethic and offer personal accomplishment. This sets you apart from the rest – employers love to see candidates achieving something worthwhile on a year out.
Convincing the family
In some families, gap years are encouraged and expected. But for some, taking a year out is seen as a costly and unnecessary expense. If you need to win your family around, approaching them with a plan of action is key! Work your way through this list and prepare all the facts and figures. Make your case with budget solutions, future prospects and a plan for your return, and they’ll soon be on board. There are loads of gap year opportunities with paid work placements, find the right one and
you may even make more than you spend.
Gap Year Plan of Action!
There is no right or wrong way to ‘do’ a gap year. Whether your dream is to backpack across the globe, volunteer in Africa or take a course that gives you life-long qualifications. Taking a year out will bring you life experience and opportunity. There are plenty of websites and companies out there offering gap year programmes. Following this guide will help you plan the perfect gap year.
This guide was put together by Winter Sports Company. Winter Sports Company offer gap year ski and snowboard opportunities in Canada, France and New Zealand. Contact 01548 831152 for more information or visit www.wintersportscompany.com.
Winter Sports Company specialise in winter gap years, running ski instructor courses, snowboard instructor courses and ski instructor internships across the world in Europe, Canada and New Zealand. We’re always happy to help with friendly advice.