How to Have a Gap Year Experience During a Global Pandemic
Sutton Full Potential Founder
The pandemic has not stopped raging yet. Many countries like India are experiencing a second wave of the pandemic. Experts warn that a third wave is also likely to arrive soon. There is so much uncertainty prevalent across the globe right now.
Educational institutions are one of the most pandemic-affected entities across the world. Schools, colleges, universities and students are all equally uncertain and concerned about their future. Some institutions are planning to hold online classes in 2021. Some are planning to open classes in 2021, keeping new norms such as social distancing in mind.
Irrespective of how the future is set to evolve, students are facing the fact that 2020 has evolved into a gap year.
In a pre-COVID world, a gap year equipped students with an opportunity to travel to foreign countries and gain cultural and work experience. With the pandemic preventing travel, how can students make constructive use of a gap year?
Here, we discuss some ways that students may want to consider to make the most of their gap year despite the pandemic.
Start with a Mindset of Discovering Opportunities
The future may be uncertain, but the present need not be so. You can plan to take advantage of the many productive opportunities that the pandemic has opened up. The world has shifted online, and the world truly is your oyster now.
If you are planning to take a gap year to do nothing, then you are wasting yourself. Doing so will only decrease your morale when schools, colleges and universities reopen. Decide to prepare yourself for the post-pandemic world.
Work and Gain Experience
Many companies are hiring even during the pandemic. Look within your neighbourhood for a job. You could work at your local retail store, grocery or restaurant, for example, if they are open. You could also apply online and work from home.
A job gives you money as well as valuable experience. From remote working to communication and problem-solving, a job can equip you with multiple career skills.
Apply for a Virtual Internship
A virtual internship is an opportunity to earn employability skills. You can apply for internships in an industry you are interested in and gain work experience while at home. Employers or supervisors guide and mentor you through remote communication tools such as emails, webinars, Skype, Zoom and Microsoft Teams. Virtual internships add more value to your resume and make you more employable.
Enrol in an Online Course
The pandemic has expanded the range of learning opportunities available online. From learning a new language to imbibing life skills, there is a range of online courses taught by industry experts.
Apart from improving your knowledge of the world, online courses prepare you better for universities.
Start a Blog or a Video Channel
If you have a hobby or subject of interest, then you can find yourself a niche audience online and even make money out of your passion. Start a blog or video channel on the subject/ hobby.
You may be interested in data science, training your dog the right way, or using organic manure.
Create blog posts and videos on your subject and post them online. In addition to nurturing your hobby, you get to connect with like-minded people.
Volunteering helps you give back to those in need while also developing your work skills. You could organize a virtual fundraiser for your local hospital or help an elderly neighbour maintain her garden.
The opportunities are varied and endless. There are also online volunteer-matching websites to help you if you feel awkward seeking opportunities in person.
The only certainty amidst the raging pandemic is the uncertainty. You can choose to not let the uncertainty deter you from achieving your goals. The pandemic, in fact, is a valuable opportunity to prepare yourself for the evolving world. Used right, this gap year can help you identify yourself and your true path in life.