3 Things to Do During a Gap Year

Have you weighed your options after graduation and decided to take a gap year? It can be a great choice for students! But that doesn’t mean you should waste the next year. You have a few different options on how you can spend the next 12 months and get some meaningful lessons out of your time.

Student exploring a gap year


One option during your gap year is to spend time in the workforce. This could be to get money to help pay for college or to get some work experience under your belt. No matter your reason, it’s a strong choice and could help you with future job hunting after you graduate college. It also gives you time to carefully think about your major and career options.

You may also want to opt for a job that has something to do with your potential future field, if possible. If you’re interested in working with animals, for example, you could try to apply to be a receptionist in a veterinarian’s office. If you’re interested in finances, you might be able to find an open position with an accountant.


Another popular option that students go with during their gap year is travel. While it’s a lot of fun, you can also have a truly life-changing experience while abroad or even within the country. You’ll be able to see new places, new languages, and new people. No matter where you choose to go, too, there are lessons you can learn.

If you’re traveling abroad, you may want to work on studying the language. You could also choose to visit historic sites if you have an interest in those, and it could help with your future studies. You may find you love another country or location so much that you want to apply to college there, study abroad during your schooling, or move there after graduation.


The third option you have during the next 12 months is to volunteer. This is a great choice if you wanted to take a year of school to get away from studying and want to get some experience under your belt, while still enjoying your time off. It also looks amazing on applications to colleges, as well as on job applications.

Things to Do During a Gap Year

As with work, you may want to find a volunteer opportunity that has something to do with your intended field. It will help show your future college that you’re committed, too!

Whatever you choose to do over the next 12 months is up to you! But it’s a good idea to try to do at least one of these things (or all three if you like!). One reason is for your own personal betterment. But it also looks amazing on college applications. Colleges like to see action and commitment, and idleness does not look as great on applications. But give special thought to your choice, and remember you can always change your mind.

Use College Raptor to discover personalized college matches, cost estimates, acceptance odds, and potential financial aid for schools around the US—for FREE!