How should students spend their time during a gap year?
The answer to this question depends on whether you have a goal in mind for after you complete gap year. If your goal is to go to college, do you know what college you would like to attend? Do you know what major course of study you would like to pursue? If so, it would be beneficial for you to structure your gap year experience around what you are interested in pursuing during college or possibly after. If you have an interest in medicine or international relations, could you possibly arrange to work at a medical clinic in another country? Or, if your interest is in the arts, could you pursue an internship or other work/learning experience at a local arts organization? Through "connecting the dots" between high school, gap year, college, and beyond, you not only are keeping your sights on your future goals, but gaining valuable personal experiences that will ultimately be of great benefit along the way.
Many gap year students, also interested in college, are nonetheless undecided regarding what they would like to pursue as a major or a career. Students in this camp (and there are many just like you!) will still have a meaningful experience during gap year, and may even learn more about themselves than they ever could have imagined learning in high school. Gap year can in effect become a pivotal time in one's life, where horizons expand, boundaries are crossed, and your inner self, which may have felt clouded in high school, begins to emerge. If you are uncertain about what you want to do in college other than being sure that you want to go, then go with your heart for gap year--but regardless of what you do, be sure to make it *meaningful.* Do not volunteer if you do not want to volunteer; do not travel to a foreign country because you think it will look good on your college application. Go with your heart (but be mindful of you and your parents' wallet!) for gap year, but be certain that it will be meaningful to you, and that you will be able to speak knowledgeably and convincingly about your experiences.