The gap year is a longstanding tradition for young adults. Instead of heading straight to college after high school, some people choose to take a year off and gain real-world experience through working, volunteering, or traveling. Like a lot of things, the gap year feels different in the face of a global pandemic. Can you still take a year off during COVID-19? How do you manage to do so without sacrificing your health and safety and that of others? Fortunately, the concept of a gap year remains remarkably the same. You can still use this time to experience new things, save money, or even get a head start on college courses. Discover what you can accomplish with these ideas for a safe gap year during COVID-19.
Take an Online Course
What’s the point of taking an online course during your gap year? After all, that’s probably what you would be doing if you simply went straight into your first semester of college. That said, starting with one or two courses from your local community college is vastly different from jumping headfirst into a full college semester. It’s a great way to ease yourself into college work while getting a few general credits out of the way. You can also save money by only taking a couple of classes at a time—especially if you take them through a community college rather than a larger university.
Travel the World (Safely)
Spending a year abroad might not be smart or possible right now, but there are still ways to travel and experience more of the world. One of the best ideas for a safe gap year during COVID-19 is to take a smaller solo trip. This trip can teach you a lot about self-sufficiency as you step into adulthood. Take yourself on a personal camping or backpacking trip to see incredible sights and gain unforgettable memories. Cross off a bucket list item or two by pitching your tent in a national park or taking a hiking trip through Colorado. Outdoor experiences allow you to practice social distancing even as you travel. These types of adventures are also great for personal reflection. Experience the peace and quiet of the natural world as you reflect on what you want and where you’re going in life. You’ll also have some incredible stories to tell when you return and enroll in your first semester.