Are you considering taking
a gap year next year, or have you recently quit your studies and are therefore taking a gap year? You can learn a lot in a gap year and have a great time. The focus is on you and your future. Below are some tips to make the most of your gap year, and you can also read about the experiences of other students.
Maybe you already know that you want to start studying again after this year. In that case, it's helpful to immerse yourself in your study choice during this year. If you want more guidance in making the right study choice, you can schedule an appointment with a study choice advisor (schedule your appointment here).
Perhaps you already have a part-time job, and you can increase your hours to earn more, or maybe you need to look for a new employer. Working can also help you figure out what you do and don't enjoy.
There are a few reasons why travelling during or after your studies is a good idea:
You get to know yourself well (as cliché as it may sound). In daily life, you might spend little time with yourself. During travels, you will encounter unexpected situations and find that you handle them just fine.
This is the ideal moment to go travelling. You probably have relatively few fixed expenses or a job with a set number of vacation days. How often will such a situation present itself?
You gain life experience rapidly. You'll see that you become flexible and unafraid of being thrown into the deep.
You meet new people and cultures. At home, you probably have people around you who mostly face similar choices as you and do roughly the same things. It's super valuable to meet people who organise their lives differently.
Back to basics. Compared to other cultures, we lead a rushed life on autopilot in the Netherlands. By travelling, your life becomes simple again, allowing you to enjoy the little things more.
This way, you not only help others but also discover your own interests and talents. This can be done both in the Netherlands and abroad. For volunteer opportunities specifically tailored for young people in the Eindhoven area, check out www.netwerkgoedvolk.nl.
Arranging an exciting internship for a day is a great opportunity to explore different fields. Maybe you know someone who works at a company that you are interested in working for. Take the opportunity and discover whether this would be something for you.
Is there something that gives you energy that you didn't have time for due to school? Now is the perfect time to take a course on that and dive into it. There are lots of free courses to follow online.
Does entrepreneurship run in your blood? In your gap year, you have all the time to figure out how starting your own business works. Do it now before you regret it! Who knows, this might also spark enough ideas for your choice of study. How to combine your own business with your studies when you start studying again can be found in the Student Entrepreneur Policy and Student Entrepreneur Scheme.
How exciting would it be to look back on a fantastic and meaningful time after your gap year? To achieve this, you need ideas on how to fill your gap year. Have a brainstorming session with yourself, and let your imagination run wild. Remind yourself that there are no limitations, and everything is possible and allowed. The sky is the limit! Consider the following: What would you most like to do in your gap year? There are no financial or practical limitations; for example, imagine that you have won a significant cash prize and are financially independent. Try to describe it in as much detail and concreteness as possible. Have you described your ideal gap year? Now, think about how you can make this a reality or make it feasible. If you'd like to help stray dogs in Curaçao but travelling there is not an option, perhaps you can volunteer at an animal shelter in the Netherlands or your home country.
Experiences from students
Have you done a gap year, and do you want to share your experience?