Beginning your Gap Year Journey can be extremely nerve-wracking, with so many questions, concerns, and the fear of the unknown! It is crucial to have a strong backbone, a network of experts that will support you, provide valuable resources and opportunities to maximize your gap year, to ensure you leave feeling fulfilled with what you have accomplished!
Common Gapper Challenges
Over the past 10+ years, Michelle has seen gappers and their families' experiences and noted some of their common challenges.
Do not know how to plan: Unable to answer key questions like, what type of activities should we plan, how far should we travel, and for how long. Along with how should we budget, what actions can I take to be financially stable? When you do not know how to answer these valuable questions, they become barriers to even beginning the gap year process.
Do not want to waste their time: Gappers want to get the most of their time. Even thinking about how to maximize their time creates time anxiety. People want to leave feeling accomplished and like they have achieved something throughout the process.
Do not want to feel alone: For most gappers, they are doing something totally different compared to their friends who are most likely going into post-secondary. This causes feelings of insecurity and isolation. Having a strong community, feeling belonged, and creating friendship will significantly improve your gap year.
If you are a real one, you probably recognized these elements from our episode “Avoid These Top 3 Gap Year Mistakes”, which goes into further details about these challenges. If you have not done so already, make sure to check it out!
What is the Gap Year Gameplan?
The purpose of the Gap Year Gameplan is to help you overcome these obstacles and challenges, and launch your year with confidence!!
Get on the list! Gap Year Gameplan
Benefits to the Gap Year Gameplan
It is a program for everyone! Whether your gap year is for an entire year, just a semester, or even two years, the game plan is flexible for all different schedules. We want to focus on goal setting and building a community of gappers and gap year experts.
Goal Setting: Setting goals is crucial to launch your gap year for success. It is about picking the right experiences and developing a budget to make your dreams a reality. Investing time into proper planning will help build confidence when starting your gap year.
Gap Year Certification - SOL&H Award: Make sure to stay tuned for next week’s episode to learn more about this! This award is similar to the Duke of Edinburgh award. We have different pillars that gappers need to participate in, once the activity is complete, there is an award that you can earn and are able to put on your resume or LinkedIn. It establishes that this person has the competencies and that CanGap stands behind them.
Building your Network
Building community and a support system of other gappers and experts will significantly improve your gap year experience, whether that is networking, building friendships, consulting industry professionals, having access to resources, and staying accountable.
How will this happen?
Discord Server: This is a private chat forum specifically for those on their gap year. It allows gappers to connect with other gappers, share their experiences (whether good or bad) and be able to feel connected within this community. In addition, gappers are able to share opportunities or resources with one another.
Monthly Events: The theme of these events is decided collectively as a group on the discord server, for example, last month’s theme was entrepreneurship. Through these social events, experts are brought in and they discuss their tips and advice for starting a business. These social events can be for strategic things, like starting a business, money management. Or, fun sessions like how to bake, how to find scholarships or how to have a conversation with your parents.
Monthly Socials: This is a fantastic opportunity to come together as a team and do something fun, whether that is a movie night, book club, escape room, trivia night or invite a comedian!
Weekly Office Hours: These are drop-in sessions that gappers can book on a weekly basis. It is a great time to get your questions answered one on one, or if you are looking for a certain type of activity to supplement your learning, a gap year expert, like Michelle, will jump in and help. It is the time to ask someone who knows what they are doing and who has the expertise.
Being actively involved is crucial, if not, you will not be able to grow if you do not show up! Even with this, there is flexibility, for example, if you are someone who is not looking for that community, you can still tap into the office hours to get your questions answers or use the fixed resources that are available in the gap year gameplan. On the flip side, if you are someone who wants to build that community, there are many opportunities for you to connect with other gappers and build that strong connection and relationship.
In the end, the Gameplan is extremely flexible, you are able to pick and choose what you want to do. There is no attendance or evaluation to track your progress. In the end, we want you to feel healthier, stronger, successful, and happy.
Overview of the Gap Year Gameplan
It is a portal of resources and activities that you can complete to earn the SOL&H Award, or use these tools to learn about yourself.