Like many a baby boomer, I can only dream about what my gap year after college might have been like – had the concept been invented back in 1981. Instead of going straight to graduate school, I wonder how a gap year experience might have changed my life direction…..a little….or a lot? The path not taken is a source of much mid-life reflection but most people my age would say after graduation is the perfect time to indulge in self-exploration, try out a career dream, travel, make connections, get out of the college bubble in a brave new way and stake your claim your post-college adult life. Sounds great, you say? Here are few thoughts on planning a successful gap year to remember.
To keep your gap year from becoming a lost year of income and opportunity, you will need a plan. Fortunately, the CCPA has some great resources to get you started. Given the myriad of possibilities, many seniors turn to formal gap year programs to help structure their post-graduate year. A sampling of choices from the CCPA’s Gap Year webpage includes supporting the health and integration of international refugees into the Philadelphia region (Philly Fellows), serving as an elementary assistant in a Quaker school in Atlanta (Quaker Voluntary Service), and fostering entrepreneurship and microfinanced opportunities in Chile (Princeton in Latin America). Many of these programs are competitive and have application deadlines, so an early start to your planning is essential.
We invite you to learn more about gap year options with some upcoming on-campus events. The CCPA is sponsoring presentations and networking opportunities with Jenny Bogoni of Spark (Nov. 8), Tim Ifill of Philly Fellows (Nov. 21), Alisa Bieber of QuEST (Dec. 2) and Janice Lion of Haverford House (Dec. 5). A successful gap year experience has the potential to enrich your life well into your future. Your time to explore is here… we look forward to the postcards!