How To Make The Most Of Your Gap Year Before University

Welcome to our blog on how to make the most of a gap year before you start university.

Although it might seem scary to take a gap year while everyone around you is starting this next chapter of their lives, a gap year before university presents a golden opportunity for personal growth, exploration, and self-discovery.

 Whether you choose to travel the world, volunteer in your community, gain work experience, or pursue personal interests, the gap year offers a unique chance to step outside your comfort zone and embrace new experiences.

In this blog, we’ll delve into various ways to make the most of your gap year, from practical tips on financial planning and skill development to suggestions for meaningful activities that will enrich your life and prepare you for the next chapter of your academic journey.

A group of girls networking


We know that this is one of the most common things that students do when they opt for a gap year, but there is a reason why it is so popular. 

Travelling to different countries or even cities allows you to learn about so many different cultures and experience things that you might have not had before.

Interacting with people around the world can really broaden your horizons in terms of your mindset, attitude and opportunities. 

The things that you learn through travelling can really shape you into a different person, not just in your gap year, but all throughout your life.

The best part is that travelling doesn’t even have to be just international trips that cost you a lot. It can also be trips to neighbouring cities that you haven’t been to, that can still allow you to explore new places and learn things. 

A man travelling with a backpack


The next best way through which you can make the most of a gap year is by volunteering. 

We can never speak enough about the benefits of volunteering, not only in your local community but also the significant impact it has on your personal growth. 

In the UK, you can choose fom a wide range of charity organisations that are truly committed to improving the lives of so many people who are struggling. 

It is not only valuable work experience that you can get through volunteering, but it can totally shape the way that you view life.

Read this blog on 7 Best Student Volunteering Opportunities In The UK to find out opportunities that spark your interest. 

A group of young people cleaning up trash - volunteering


Speaking of work experience, gap years are a great opportunity for you to take up internships in different industries to decide what you really like. 

Choosing which field you would like to get into for the rest of your life even before you finish your A-levels can seem scary. 

This is why, taking up internships throughout your gap year, can help you make an informed decision on which field truly sparks your interest. 

The work experiences you gain can truly set you apart from other candidates when you are applying for jobs, so never underestimate the power of internships even if you don’t end up working in that field. 

Read this blog on How To Land A Summer Internship: Student Guide, to help you get some tips.

Girl working on her laptop

Learn a new skill

Although this seems very generic, a whole year is truly the optimal time for you to try out any new skills that you have always been wanting to. 

When you are in uni or enter the workforce, you might not always have the time to commit to learning new skills. This is why the gap year can be the best opportunity to learn and grow in different ways. 

And the best part is that it doesn’t even have to be something that will help you in uni. It can be something fun that you have always wanted to try. 

Whether it is crocheting, learning a new language, learning how to swim or painting, the opportunities for the skills you can learn are truly endless. 

If you do want to try out something that applies to the course you would like to apply for, then it is a great way to prepare yourself before starting uni as well.

Girl reading from a book and learning in library

Financial Planning

Yet another benefit of taking a gap year is that you can get the time to plan your finances before you start university.

This can be through part-time jobs, internships or so much more.

The best advice that we can give you is to also learn useful budgeting skills even before you start uni so that you can be responsible with your finances all throughout the course and beyond. 

Read this blog on Preparing For University. How To Budget As A Student to help you get started.

Girl planning on her laptop seriously

Cherish All Your Memories

Although a year sounds like a long time before you start, it can fly by so quickly. 

You should make sure to cherish every single thing that you do as this can truly be the most transformative experience of your life. 

Whether you choose to travel, take up internships or volunteer, be sure to appreciate having the opportunity to take this break and grow, as you might not have this opportunity again. 

So don’t rush to be checking things off a list, but rather take things slow and appreciate every single opportunity you take!
A group of young people laughing and having fun

In conclusion, your gap year before university is a valuable opportunity for personal growth, exploration, and preparation for the future.

Always remember, that you are never behind on anything because you choose to take a gap year, and everyone has their own timelines. 

By embracing new experiences, whether through travel, volunteer work or internships you can expand your horizons, develop essential life skills, and gain valuable insights that will serve you well in your academic and professional endeavours

Remember to cherish the memories, reflect on your journey, and use this time to set meaningful goals for the future. Your gap year is not just a break from academia, but a transformative journey that will shape your path forward.

Follow us on Instagram @_homesforstudents and let us know how you are spending your gap year.

If you are looking for student accommodation for when you start uni, you are in the right place. Visit our Homes for Students website and browse through a range of properties that cater to every need. 

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