The elusive gap year. A year that is typically taken by graduating high school seniors/year 12 graduates (depending where in the world you are) in between high school and starting college. It’s become popular to backpack Europe, travel the world, or work to save money to try and minimize the ever crushing student debt that looms ahead. The gap year has become pretty accepted to take between high school and college but I have yet to meet someone taking a gap year between college and work. Until I decided to do it myself.
I never took a gap year between high school and college and all throughout college I wish I had. I wasn’t ready to go to college and decide what I wanted to do for the rest of my life at 18 and I wish I would have traveled and got my sh*t together first. While I graduated in 4 years from college with a degree I can’t wait to get a career in I knew after college I needed to take some time. Decide what area of work I really wanted to go into or if I wanted to go back to school for the ever so required Masters degree.
So I’m currently taking the year. My year technically started after graduation, May 2017. I worked at the summer camp I had been working at throughout college for the first three months then the real fun of a gap year began. I went to Australia for three months from September to January. It included traveling around Australia seeing my fiances “home land” finally. We also took a quick trip to Japan (which was AMAZING). And had Christmas with family over here. Then my tourism visa expired and I had to head home.
We headed home so we could celebrate Christmas with my American family and so I could apply (and hopefully receive) for the work and holiday visa in Australia so I could make the semi-permanent move and so my fiance and I could gain more evidence once we apply for marriage visas in our respective countries. You can find that experience with moving to Australia here.
So here I am, living in Australia coming to the end of my gap year between college and working. So you’re probably wondering, Did you find what you were looking for? and the answer is yes and no. The time not working in my future career was much needed for me. I worked on my future book a bit (that was much harder than I thought it was going to be) and I worked on myself quite a bit. Including figuring out what area of my degree I want to go into and figuring out what experience I need to achieve that goal. I’ve also struggled throughout this gap year. I’ve had anxiety about burning through what was left of my savings and now even more anxiety about having trouble finding work on my visa in Australia. But overall I found the gap year between college and career/more school great and would recommend it to anyone who can afford it.
Throughout my gap year I did realize why it’s not as popular to take a gap year at this stage in life versus right after high school. I thankfully graduated with no student debt or loans and still had quite a bit of savings left to support me for a year. I also had a free place to stay overseas which was awesomely convenient. I know most people have a lot of debt after college and student loan payments kick in soon after graduation so a full time job is necessary right after. But if you can (and trust me you can I did it on a budget and still have money left) I would high recommend a gap year or taking some time after college graduation.
Did you take a gap year after high school or college graduation? Let me know!