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  • Michelle Dittmer

So, you’re not going back to University in January - 3 Must Haves to Make it Great!

You are not alone! The Canadian Gap Year Association works with many young people who are not returning to post-secondary after first semester so rest assured that the coming months can be amazing!!! Gap Years don’t have to be a full 12 months and can act as a great bridge between finishing in December and starting up a new academic adventure again in September.

Have the Right Attitude

Its important to head into this gap time with the right frame of mind – how many times in your life do you have a significant amount of time to explore something you have always wanted to try? Not very many to make the most of it!

This found time is a gift to get you to where you want and need to be! You are not heading back because it wasn’t the right time, place or program for you so it is better to take the time to get to the right place or find the right program so you can flourish. It is better to find the right fit then to struggle through something that is just wasting your time, money and mental health.

Gap Years are amazing opportunities to reflect, refocus and get ahead in life!

Have the Right Team Behind You

Taking a Gap Year is a bold move and not all of your friends and family will have experienced it. Make sure you surround yourself with friends and family that “get it.” Create a supportive network that can encourage you and keep you accountable to the goals that you set for yourself.

Whether you decide to work, volunteer, travel or any combination of these activities, your team should be there to cheer you on, celebrate your wins and help you overcome obstacles. Try to find a mentor that is not your parents or siblings that you can turn to when you experience challenges. Explore other professionals who can also support – career/educational counsellors, life coaches, gap year counsellors are all great places to look!

Have the Right Plan

When we talk to Gap Year Alum, we always hear how this year shaped who they are as a person – their interests, their career aspirations, their health and their confidence. We also hear about all of the incredible memories and relationships that they formed on their Gap Year.

BUT…. All of these gappers had a plan – they got off the couch, out of the basement and made the active decision to get involved in some incredible opportunities.

In order to have a rockin’ Gap Year, you have to have a plan and set some goals. Try to answer these questions to get the ball rolling:

  • What stories do I want to tell my friends at the end of my gap year?

  • What things have I always wanted to try but haven’t had the time or been to scared to try? Think hobbies, sports, volunteering, adventure, travel, new skills, etc.

  • What educational or career pathway interests me? Can I talk to someone in this industry to learn more? Get a job or internship? Volunteer in a similar field?

  • How will I financially support my gap year? Do I need a job? Can I get a job in a field that interests me?

  • What do I need to do for a successful transition out of my gap year and back into school/workforce? Are there application dates? Course requirements?

  • How do I want to be different at the end of my gap year?

If you are still struggling, book a Consultation with us and we can help kick-start your planning process! If you are in the GTA, you could also join us at our Gap Year Launch Bootcamp in the beginning of February.

Taking a Gap Year starting in January is really exciting but it will fly by really quickly if you don’t get moving! Be confident in your gap year plan and get moving on making some amazing memories!

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