5 of the Best Ways to Spend a Gap Year

college gap year

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  • No matter where you are in your educational career, sometimes you just need a break.

    However, a gap year before, during, or after college can be an opportunity for much more than just time away from school.

    Your college gap year can be a way to make money, gain experience, or see more of the world. Here are some of the best ways to spend a gap year.


    University is expensive, as is general adulthood. If you take a gap year, one of the most useful things you can do is earn some extra money. While you don’t want to spend this time at a job you dislike, there are plentiful opportunities to work part time or try something new. If you end up not liking your job, chalk it up to experience. Now you know it’s not a viable career path for your future—and that’s just as helpful.

    Spend Time Away from Home

    Many people think a gap year means staying or moving back in with your parents. While that can certainly save you money, it isn’t your only option.

    If you have the means, it might be worth it to live on your own or with friends during your gap year. This way, you can spend time out in the “real world,” and learn to be self-sufficient.

    This will make your transition back to college easier, and it’ll set you up for success down the road.


    Exploring the world is one of the best ways to spend a gap year. Take this chance to travel and learn more about life outside your hometown. This doesn’t have to be an expensive adventure, either.

    There are many volunteer organizations or financial aid programs that can help fund your trip. You can also pick up odd jobs wherever you go to cover your expenses. Another option is to travel on a budget. Road tripping with a small RV will save you money on hotel and other lodging costs—just be sure to stock up on all the essentials first for a successful trip.


    Just because you’re taking a year off doesn’t mean you have to completely abandon your academic career. Gap years are a great opportunity to boost your resume with a career-relevant internship. Not only will you get valuable experience, but you can also combine this with other ideas and take an internship that pays or allows you to travel.

    other valuable tips:

    Online Courses

    Of course, if an academic burnout is what led you to your gap year in the first place, you want to stay as far away from studying as possible. However, if you’re not sick of classes, it can be worth it to take a course or two online. This is a great chance to get any general class requirements out of the way.

    Plus, you’ll stay in the habit of doing homework and tests, which means your transition back into student life won’t be nearly as rough. If you pick something that truly interests you, it won’t even feel like work.

    Image Credit: college gap year by Pixabay

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