When teenagers exit through the gates of their high school for the final time, they have a huge decision to make. Will they go straight to college, or will they take a year off (also known as a gap year)?

With an entire year up your sleeve, there’s plenty you can achieve before you enter your chosen educational field. So, what will you do with all that time? Here are a few options for you to consider for your gap year between high school and college.

Educate Yourself

Why take your foot off the gas pedal if you don’t have to? With online tutors, you can keep your memory fresh in your chosen subjects. Then, when you finally head to college, you can be well-prepared for what’s to come.

Tutors can also prepare you for the workload you are likely to face, all the while answering any questions you might have in online sessions. As a bonus, you may be able to use the same platform to tutor high school students; earning some money and further locking in your learning all at once!

Intern for Experience

Becoming an intern in what you believe will be your chosen career path can allow you to gain experience and improve your marketability. While the roles are often unpaid, the skills and experience you gain are worth their weight in gold.

After your time as an intern, you can be a more desirable candidate for future jobs than those who only have educational experience. Even better, some internship providers may decide to offer you a job once you’ve gone to college and gained qualifications.

Travel the Country or World

A recent study found that at least 35% of high school students were considering taking a gap year before heading to college. A fair number of those students will surely incorporate travel plans into that year.

A full year of travel, be it nationwide or internationally, can allow students to experience something new and exciting before the next round of hard work begins. A gap year involving travel can also help those who are still not quite sure what they want to do in life figure out where they want to be.

Volunteer

An option that is well worth your consideration before attending college is volunteering. Think about the organizations in your area (or abroad) that could do with a helping hand. You might be able to serve meals at your local homeless shelter, help in a charity store, or even make deliveries for elderly and disabled people.

Aside from the physical and mental benefits of volunteering, you can also gain much-needed life and work experience that stands out on your resume.

Work and Save Money

College is not cheap, with the average student spending nearly $100,000 throughout their degree. That doesn’t even include living costs. If you can earn money during your gap year to make college life more comfortable, then it’s worth doing.

Summer jobs and freelance microjobs can be easy to pick up by young people who lack experience. You can then have a few dollars in your pocket once your first semester kicks off.

Leaving high school is a significant milestone, and it’s one that opens many doors of opportunity. If you’ve been considering taking a gap year before starting college, then it’s important to know what you want to do with your time. You could continue your education with tutors, sign up for a volunteering position or internship, or work and travel. The world’s your oyster, so take any opportunities that are thrown your way.