Your Gap Year Starts With You
Until now, your life has been scheduled, managed, and selected for you to achieve your best potential. You now face a new level of independence. It will serve you to know how to find your own answers. With a clear intention and plan of action, you will know how to make empowering decisions that will help you navigate through the mental, emotional, and physical challenges you will likely face.
You feel excited! Maybe you want to dive into researching programs, making plans, and setting goals. How about if you first give yourself some time to understand who you are and what is important to you? Shouldn’t you want to make decisions that come from your internal desires, instead of external obligations, like what everyone else around you says is the right thing to do?
Consider Taking An Intentional Gap Year!
If you are considering or have recently chosen to take a gap year, there is still a LOT of decisions left to make. And it can be overwhelming without a clear framework and guidance for how to make them.
- Do you want to handle your adventures independently or join a formal program?
- Which internship do you want to apply for?
- How are you going to get the funds you need to have the adventure you’re planning?
- If anything was possible for your intentional gap year, what do you REALLY want?
Think of now as a call to adventure!
You aren’t expected to know everything, but you will benefit by learning how to deal with the realities of not knowing. Thinking for yourself is the right path to get from life what you want. Principles (or the rules that underline your decision-making process leading to the action you will take) are a smart way to handle things that happen over and over again. Life principles help you approach everything you do. You will find your own over time, but while you are at this stage in life, we will share some that will work for you until you have enough life experiences to develop your own.
Choosing an authentic direction for your life after graduation starts with you. Having an empowered relationship with yourself will help you:
- regulate and manage who you are and how you are choosing to act in your daily life
- stay connected with the goals you have pre-determined might best serve you
- maintain focus as you take time out to explore options available to you
- see opportunities that emerge rather than to be caught in the overwhelm of new experiences
Options For Staying On Track
The gap year industry has emerged with creative ways to help organize your time out by offering experiential programs to enhance an exploration year. Programs are varied. The activities they offer take many forms involving learning environments that will give you a better idea of how committed you are to your interests and exposure to areas you may not have considered. Commonly they involve traveling locally or abroad, internships, volunteering and pursuing exciting projects.
Maybe you plan on exploring independently for some or all of your gap year time, moving into your own place with friends, hiking on a long trail, taking a job in a city, or wwoofing on a farm?You can spend your gap year exploring your world. An intentional gap year includes the element of inner exploration as a part of your growth. Choose both and create the ultimate self-discovery experience.
What might you miss out on if you don’t make your gap year intentional?
A year spent idle without learning new skills or engaging with the world could make your transition into whatever you choose to pursue next, a difficult one. You might:
- Waste time on things that don’t really matter to you
- Avoid challenges that might otherwise strengthen your capabilities
- Say yes to projects or activities that aren’t fulfilling for your goals or don’t prepare you for what you need to do next
- Get stuck in patterns that stifle your growth
- Eventually, wake up in autopilot and go through your day’s motions instead of seeing every day as a new opportunity
On the other hand, what might you benefit from if you make your gap year intentional?
Taking the time to understand your motivations, strengths, and honestly evaluating what you need to work on sets a blueprint for your goals. Knowing who you are before making big life decisions makes sense, right? Nobody can ever see the future, but everyone has the potential to learn to see their life from a higher perspective.
An intentional gap year offers you to:
- direct your personal growth because you have a foundation and curiosity to answer questions you have created
- live in the present moment and weight in on your actions and evaluate the benefits while you enjoy what you do
- be in charge of how your gap year serves you
- have more awareness of how your efforts benefit your life and those around you