With many families discussing the possibility of a gap year before their high school graduate heads off to higher education, now is an excellent time to evaluate how to maximize that time. The team at Big Ideas Inc. focuses on exciting students about the diverse options available for a successful career path; this article features a few ‘big ideas’ for optimizing a gap year while creating skills, memories, and opportunities to last a lifetime.
- Volunteer: Although social distancing may not allow for quite as many in-person volunteer opportunities, there are many ways you can still give back while staying safe. At this time, masks are still needed all over the United States. Try your hand at sewing to create items that may be in high demand. Volunteer to deliver groceries to a high-risk family or individual. Take the time to help a neighbor; you can easily keep your distance while performing projects for others. Organizations are looking for volunteers, so use this time to give while receiving valuable information on what you enjoy.
- Explore scholarship offerings: Even in an economic downturn, foundations are still offering scholarships and using your extra time to comb through and search diligently for funds to reduce your investment in your education directly. Student debt can reach well over six figures for a four-year degree, so any attempt to offset that will benefit students in the long run.
- Try a trade: With an ever-growing need for skilled tradespeople, and a substantially lower (if any) investment in gaining the skills necessary to follow this career path, trying a trade is something everyone should consider. Big Ideas Inc. offers the opportunity to experience entry-level, introductory courses to several skilled trades, including carpentry, welding (also available as a virtual offering) commercial sewing, HVAC, electronics, plumbing, and many other skilled trades. If the thought of sitting in an office for the next forty years of your life does not sound ideal, this could be a great way to kick the cubicle and expand your horizons to a viable and highly sought-after career path.
- Work: At Big Ideas, we create opportunities to find meaningful, innovative, and rewarding ways to explore, learn, and experience new things. Participating in the workforce not only helps with tuition costs in the future, but it may also show you a new career The added benefit is it is a great resume builder.
- Become certified: There are many opportunities to become certified in a chosen curriculum. What direction do you think you want to take for a profession? A certification or apprenticeship can be a great way to expand your interests and get a head start toward your career. Check out this resource for online certification courses, some of which are even free.
Forbes.com writes, “A gap year is a great time for personal growth. It may even lead to a completely different path in young peoples’ trajectories, potentially saving students from wasting time and money at a school or in a major that they discover is not the best fit for them.”
We wish all of the best to 2020 grads and congratulate you on a job well done!