Planning ahead: making the most of your gap year

Have you been travelling across the world? Have you been exploring the delights of Italy and Europe? Maybe you’ve eaten more burritos and quesadillas than you can handle in South America, or have you left London for African safaris? Then without realising you might have developed CV boosting skills for a graduate job. Read on to see if you can identify with any of these experiences.

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Think about…

  • The level of organisation and research it took to make your 3 month-multiple-continent trip a success
  • The communication involved with immersing yourself in a new and unknown environment
  • The lessons you’ve learned around time management when you missed that connecting inter-rail train
  • The sensitivity and cultural awareness you developed when meeting new people, families, even tribes

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  • The team leadership when deploying the logistics of a charity-inspired ‘Mayhem to Marrakesh’ itinerary
  • The responsibilities to help motivate and drive members of your group when climbing Mount Kilimanjaro
  • The goal-setting with your friends to snorkel in the ‘Great Barrier Reef’ alongside understanding the environmental impact of sustainable tourism
  • The real-life learnings of the history books you’ve read vs. what you experienced  walking around the peace memorial in Hiroshima

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  • The independence gained by that solo voyage, understanding the importance of your wellbeing, health and sanity.
  • The physically demanding 12-16 hour shifts on the ski slopes of Solden, Austria?
  • The mind-boggling teaching of English sentence structure  to excitable 7-year-olds or influential business professionals in Japan

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  • The invaluable self-awareness gained by realising it’s not always easy to get on with others
  • The challenges of making friendships work, adapting your personal perspectives and values
  • The resilience from the unexpected struggles encountered when travelling and budgeting.
  • Being able to separate your wants from your needs. Did you take the decision to buy that great t-shirt you saw or your meal for that evening?

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Think about taking a gap year: as this article suggests, it might be a route to success. Figure yourself out, understand what your dreams really are and then go pursue them!

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