Your graduation robes are hanging in your closet, your senior thesis paper is almost finished, and it hits you--college is almost over. Wasn’t it just yesterday that you were a timid college freshman hauling your twin XL bedding and a mini-fridge into your dorm on move-in day? Related: 4 Reasons Why Taking A Gap Year Is Great For Your Career After being nostalgic for a few minutes, you come to the realization that the 'real world' is aggressively knocking at your door. You’ve spent almost your entire life in working hard in school, but also enjoying the lengthy breaks throughout the year, and you’re not quite ready to enter into the 'real world'. That is totally and completely fine. Frequently referred to as a "gap year", recent graduates take time to travel, volunteer, or “re-energize” after four years of writing papers and studying for exams. However, before making a decision on whether to take a gap year or not, you’ll need to plan. Your year off shouldn’t just be a vacation--make good use of your time. There are nearly endless opportunities that you should use to your advantage. Considering taking a gap year? Here are some ways that you can take a year off, but also be productive.
The benefits of taking a gap year are pretty obvious – the chance to meet lots of new friends, get an incredible suntan, and see some wild, wonderful and exotic locations. However, these aren’t the only advantages to taking that year out before you start work. And, with the job market for graduates still a fairly tough place to be, a well-planned gap year can help give you an advantage over others when it comes to looking for your dream job. Related: How To Handle Career Gaps On Your Resume You may not be able to transfer your ability to ride an elephant or dance all night into a job when you return (or maybe you will…), but there are other aspects to taking a gap year that provide definite benefits for your CV. Here are a few: