Having to take a gap year can be one of the most stressful situations to be in, especially when everyone else around you is going forward and studying at whatever university they got selected in. The felling of regret at not having done well enough in your exams or not having applied to universities on time is ever-present and can be severely demotivating. However, it’s important that you move on from your mistakes from last year and work towards correcting them. The best thing you can do now is spend the year you have at your disposal wisely and try and make the most of your time.
Retake your exams
Perhaps you weren’t able to get into your college of choice because of a bad grade in one of the subjects in you’re A-levels/Intermediate. Well, a gap year is the perfect time to make up for this deficiency in your score card and try and improve any bad grades you may have gotten. You’ll even find that retaking an exam now will let you score better on it, since you’ll have more free time now to study than you could have ever juggled with school. Better grades mean you’ll have a better chance of getting into your college of choice next year, and you may even be able to open up new avenues for yourself.
Pick up a course or learn a new skill
A gap year is also the perfect time to explore your talents and try something you’ve always wanted to but never had the time. Always wanted to learn how to draw or maybe animate a 3D character? Pick up online courses to help you explore these passions and even become quite decent at them at the end of the year. You should also take this time to learn a few important skills that’d help you live independently like cooking and driving if you don’t already know how to do them by now.
Working and internships
Another great way to spend your year off is to go out and gain some practical job experience instead of just sitting at home and doing nothing. Your goal should be to try and find jobs and internships that are closely related to the industry you want to work in after getting your degree of choice, but even getting a part-time job as waiter in a restaurant is good enough if all you want to do is earn a little extra money. On the other hand, internships may not pay much, but the valuable experience you’ll gain will put you three steps ahead of your fellow fresh graduates when you’re heading out into the market after completing your degree.
Travel and relax
Just because you were forced to take a gap year because of your bad grades, doesn’t mean you should feel guilty about relaxing every once in a while. Although we don’t recommend you go off on an independent year-long tour to “find yourself” because there are a lot of better things you can do with that time, taking a month-long vacation isn’t too bad of an idea. Just be sure to come back refreshed so that you’re ready to start working towards a better chance at university next year.