Make the Most of Your Gap Year

This fall, some schools like Harvard are opting for remote learning for all its students. For many college-aged students across the country, the thought of paying $50,000 to learn from a computer is not appealing and many are thinking about taking a gap year. If you do choose to take a year away from college we want to share our advice to make the most of your gap year.

Set Goals

Your gap year is not going to be the Instagram-worthy European backpacking trip your friends took last year. However, it can be more productive. You have a year to dedicate to yourself and should set concrete goals at the beginning of your gap year. Consider things like:

  • Reading a book a week
  • Learning a new language
  • Taking free online courses
  • Working a part-time job or internship, if possible and safe
  • Improving your mental and physical health
  • Volunteering locally

Stick to a Budget

By taking a gap year you’re potentially saving significant money on tuition, books, and room and board. You’re also staying close to home and not traveling. Don’t blow those savings on Amazon purchases and other extravagances. If you’re in the middle of your course of studies you will have student loans to pay off down the road and every penny counts. Set a budget with your family and stick to it.

Build a Structure

A year off from school doesn’t mean you should spend the day in your pajamas. Build a regular schedule and routine. Wake up at the same time each day. Dedicate a few hours to accomplishing the goals you set. Be sure to stay in touch with your friends at college. And feel comfortable taking time for yourself to just have fun.

Is a gap year right for you? How will it impact my college career and financial aid? Talk to one of Accolade Financial’s college counselors about your decision.