Taking A Gap Year Post-College Is The Dream List Item You Never Knew You Needed

by Ciara Johnson

School seemingly lasts forever. Some of us go on to spend four or more years in college, and then immediately transition into the workforce. Many never get the chance to have a break outside of this timeline. If you're feeling burnt out, then it might be time to consider a gap year. Taking a gap year after college will give you the much-needed time and space to discover yourself. You'll get to explore the world and truly experience all that life has to offer.

Formal schooling is the foundation of our education, but travel can be one of life's greatest teachers. There is so much to learn outside of the classroom and the office. A gap year is a special time for you to do some learning in the real world, on your own terms. Instead of learning about history through books, you'll experience historic landmarks up close. Instead of learning a language in class, you'll be fully immersed in a culture where you will learn the language through every interaction you make. Whether you choose to volunteer for a non-profit or backpack across Europe during your gap year, you'll discover that there is so much to gain from the experience.

You'll Gain More Confidence
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Navigating a totally new place is no easy feat. You'll experience difficulties along the way, and you'll likely have to take a step outside of your comfort zone. Travel requires you to be flexible, so you'll learn how to handle any mishaps that come your way. Whether your luggage gets lost on a connecting flight, or you miss your train stop, you'll learn to roll with what life throws at you. You'll be surprised to discover just how strong and capable you are. After your gap year, you'll be prepared to overcome any hurdles that come your way.

You'll Gain A New Perspective
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A gap year will change your perspective in all of the best ways. You may have lived in your hometown for a good portion of your life, so this will truly give you the opportunity to spread your wings and soar with your eyes wide open. This gap year may change how you see the world, and you'll learn that things aren't always so black and white.

You'll Make New Friends
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After your gap year, you'll leave with friends from across the world. These friendships can benefit you in more ways than one. You'll have the opportunity to learn more about their culture and see how differently people live across the world. Imagine eating traditional foods and learning about a place directly from the source. You'll be prepared to communicate and work with different types of people. This is an extremely valuable skill that will help you in so many areas of life. Some say your network is everything, and yours will be worldwide!

You Can Learn A New Language
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Full immersion is the best way for you to learn a new language. You can only take your language skill so far in a classroom. A gap year will give you the opportunity to dive deep into a culture and truly learn to speak their language. You'll be talking in that language to the locals, so you'll learn much more quickly than you ever could from a book. There's no doubt that you'll face some challenges along the way, but you'll be so glad you did by the end of it.

You'll Learn More About Yourself
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Ultimately, a gap year will teach you so much about yourself. You'll finally have the opportunity to get out into the real world and apply everything you've learned in the classroom. You'll also discover things about the world that you could never learn in a classroom. You'll have plenty of "me" time to invest in yourself and become the person you've always wanted to be.

When you decide to return home, you'll be left feeling more sure of yourself. Happy travels!