What To Do During A "Gap Year"

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#1 Brewer  Icon User is offline

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What To Do During A "Gap Year"

Posted 05 February 2011 - 12:43 PM

For those of you unfamiliar with the term "Gap Year" (this included me up until 10 minutes ago), a gap year is the year that some people choose to take off after graduating from high school and enrolling in college. Unforunately, I don't think I'm ready to be in university yet, and a year off is starting to sound pretty good.

Do we have any members here at DIC who took a gap year between high school and university? If so, what did you do during that year? If you haven't, what WOULD you want to do with your year off?

After giving it a little thought (and I mean like 5 minutes worth), I've come up with a short list for myself:

Things I Want To Do During My Gap Year:

1. Learn a programming language. I don't want to just be familiar with it, I want to understand the inner-workings and know everything there is to know about it. I want to become a genius in this language.

2. Run a marathon. Now for the most part, I'm not a fan of working out. The concept of a human running 26 miles (preferably without stopping) amazes me. This would definitely be something that I would be interested in doing.

3. Lose 50 pounds. I weigh 225 right now and my ideal weight would be 175-180. My 2nd goal would, of course, help with this goal.

4. Learn to cook. I admit it: I love food. Food is delicious. Who doesn't love some good ass food? I recently got a slow-cooker and I am dieing to try it out, but I don't know how to cook anything. Anyone got a cook book?

5. Be happier. In my current state, I get upset somewhat easily and that's not healthy. I don't need to be the happiest person on earth, but if I considered myself happier after one year, then I will consider this goal accomplished.

What say you, DreamInCode members?

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Replies To: What To Do During A "Gap Year"

#2 Trakker  Icon User is offline

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Re: What To Do During A "Gap Year"

Posted 05 February 2011 - 12:46 PM

gap years are for pansies.
I'll elaborate.
If you have the drive to make it through a gap year and succeed in accomplishing most of the goals that you set, then you've got the drive to make it through the first year of college.
All the people I've met that have done this end up flunking out of college or never even attending. They end up dependent on others, abusing drugs, struggling to find/keep jobs. I'm not saying this is you, but if it's not, then refer to the first statement.
If you don't have the drive, then taking a year off isn't going to magically give you the drive.
Gap years are sinkholes. You can probably accomplish all those goals and complete your first semester at the same time, if that's what you really want.

This post has been edited by Trakker: 05 February 2011 - 12:55 PM

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#3 Brewer  Icon User is offline

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Re: What To Do During A "Gap Year"

Posted 05 February 2011 - 12:52 PM

Too bad theres not a -Rep button in the Caffeine Lounge.
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#4 Trakker  Icon User is offline

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Re: What To Do During A "Gap Year"

Posted 05 February 2011 - 12:55 PM

too bad indeed.
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#5 raziel_  Icon User is offline

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Re: What To Do During A "Gap Year"

Posted 05 February 2011 - 12:58 PM

and Trakker is absolutely correct. I did have something like this. unfortunately i got to serve my country and i got so dump that i spend 2 more years trying to get to Uni.
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#6 KYA  Icon User is offline

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Re: What To Do During A "Gap Year"

Posted 05 February 2011 - 01:00 PM

Taking a year off to find yourself [or whatever] is retarded. There's no reason why you can't work towards any or all of those goals while going to college/working a job, etc...
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#7 tlhIn`toq  Icon User is offline

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Re: What To Do During A "Gap Year"

Posted 05 February 2011 - 01:01 PM

You're a high grad with makes you between 16-18. Basically worthless years in the job market. Until you hit 21 you can't even get a job as a bar-back in a pub. No employer takes an 18 year seriously. You have no job history to speak of. So that leaves you at McDonalds or stocking shelves at the market.

Why don't you do 4 years in the Army? Get some real training, get some real-world experience that employers take seriously. Get $50,000 for university instead of $50,000 in loans you have to pay back. Come out trained for Satellite systems or I.T. on the government dime.

Plan B - Australia west coast coal mines. These guys recruit right out of high school as hard as anyone. They can't get people to do the jobs. Its not just in the mines: Its research, truck driving, everything related to the field. Big signing bonus, bit re-up bonus. My son had friends a cycle in front of him that did it. After 5 years out there they came back to the Gold Coast and paid for their half million dollar town homes in cash.

I'm sure there are other career fields like that... Petroleum workers in Dubai... Supply line truckers in various 'hot zones'.
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#8 Trakker  Icon User is offline

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Re: What To Do During A "Gap Year"

Posted 05 February 2011 - 01:03 PM

Unfortunately? I'll share.
I was one of those that didn't have the drive. Instead of delude myself with beliefs that I'd magically wake up with the skills to make it through a 4 year college, I did something about it. I spend 5 years in the Marine Corps. Honorable discharge, immediate acceptance into uni, and I've currently got a 3.8 GPA.

"If you want it, you can have it. But you gotta learn to reach out there and grab it."
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#9 Brewer  Icon User is offline

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Re: What To Do During A "Gap Year"

Posted 05 February 2011 - 01:05 PM

I've considered joining the Navy or the Air Force, I'm not completely sure I'm cut out for the Marines or the Army though.

This post has been edited by Brewer: 05 February 2011 - 01:07 PM

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#10 tlhIn`toq  Icon User is offline

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Re: What To Do During A "Gap Year"

Posted 05 February 2011 - 01:19 PM

View PostBrewer, on 05 February 2011 - 01:05 PM, said:

I've considered joining the Navy or the Air Force, I'm not completely sure I'm cut out for the Marines or the Army though.


Let me tell you my story on that so you don't make my mistake.
I enlisted on delayed entry 364 days before I actually went in. This is good because that's a year that counts as "time in service" and "time in rank" without having to be active military.
But as a high schooler I thought it would be cool to have a great, cool job. When I was offered "Fixed cryptographic equipment repair" and told how I would learn classified scramblers, have a special background check and security clearance etc. it was just all too exciting.

Here's the down side: I could never get transferred to another job where my training and security clearance could be in jeopardy. I was trapped in that job for the duration of my military career. Needless to say I didn't make a career of the military as much as I loved it.

You can cross-train in the military. I wish at 18 I had started on the simplier end and worked through to more advanced jobs as my age and maturity matched them. I wish I had started with ... I dunno... Door gunner on a helicopter... done Ranger training... truck driver... anything that would have gotten me some different skills and experiences. Then worked up to the high security stuff.

When considering branches consider this: The army is as large as all the other branches combined. Promotions in the lower grades come on schedule. You don't have to wait for an E-4 slot to open before you can be promoted. That does happen with all the upper ranks in all the branches, but it seems wrong on the low end to me. For some of the smaller branches you do have to wait for a slot to open to get that promotion (at least in my day in the 80's).

Don't forget, the Coast Guard is a branch of the military as well.

In short, there are hundreds of military jobs. It can't really be that hard to find one. Join. Take a job. Cross-train to something else after you understand the system. You can do a short 2 year enlistment on something easy like a cook, then take a re-enlistment bonus and chance to change jobs.
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#11 supersloth  Icon User is offline

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Re: What To Do During A "Gap Year"

Posted 05 February 2011 - 02:32 PM

gap years really only make sense for people with lots of money who do things like travelling. otherwise you're really just a kid with no direction trying to play it off while you sleep till noon every day.
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#12 macosxnerd101  Icon User is offline

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Re: What To Do During A "Gap Year"

Posted 05 February 2011 - 03:01 PM

View PostTrakker, on 05 February 2011 - 04:46 PM, said:

Gap years are sinkholes. You can probably accomplish all those goals and complete your first semester at the same time, if that's what you really want.

This.

View Postsupersloth, on 05 February 2011 - 06:32 PM, said:

gap years really only make sense for people with lots of money who do things like travelling. otherwise you're really just a kid with no direction trying to play it off while you sleep till noon every day.

And this.

The only person I know who took a gap year ended up living with her parents until the age of 27, when she finished up her masters (after transferring 2-3) times and getting married. For the record, she did have job offers as well, so it wasn't an unemployment/economy situation.

Sorry if this sounds a little harsh, but imo, stick it out through college. There are days it's going to suck. There are days you're going to love it. You're an adult on your own in college; life happens. In the real world, you work eight hours a day, and chances are, it'll be a lot less fun if you go into the workforce with no real experience. You've been saying you have straight A's this semester. So why are you worried you're not ready for college? Yah, it's an adjustment. So is living on your own and getting a job. Perhaps you should see college as a goal to focus on and get through.
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#13 Martyr2  Icon User is offline

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Re: What To Do During A "Gap Year"

Posted 05 February 2011 - 03:24 PM

Never wait if you have the chance to go to university straight out of high school. Believe it or not I had somewhat of a gap year but only because I fell in the great American education system gap (turning into a crevasse more every day) where my parents made too much money for me to get most loans and yet wouldn't help me pay for college. Thus when it came to university I had to pay my own way working a job while trying to put myself through school. Which I had to delay for about a year while I could save up enough to enroll full time.

In America it can suck being of a particular ethnic group because of racism etc... but when it comes to education, the worst thing you can be is a white male under 25 with parents who make enough money but not willing to help. Just to give you an idea, I once took 60 applications for grants/scholarships, threw 30 away immediately because I wasn't black or native american. Threw another 15 away because I wasn't a woman. Threw another 10 away because they were trade specific (none related to anything close to computing) and then the five I had left I could try for but then again I had to compete against thousands of other white males under 25.

So man, if you have a shot to go straight to college from high school, dude... you better friggin take it and never take a pass. Even for a year. There are people like me who never had it so lucky!

:)

This post has been edited by Martyr2: 05 February 2011 - 03:28 PM

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#14 supersloth  Icon User is offline

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Re: What To Do During A "Gap Year"

Posted 05 February 2011 - 03:45 PM

i was in that exact same financial situation while being a minority. just pointing out that it's always a case-by-case basis.
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#15 Martyr2  Icon User is offline

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Re: What To Do During A "Gap Year"

Posted 05 February 2011 - 03:52 PM

Well it is good to know that it isn't just us white guys in Washington State that fall into that trap. But like I said, that thing is getting wider and wider. With the economic downturn in the US economy, I bet it is going to be extra bad right now. All the more reason to go to college as soon as you can if it is made available to you.

:)

This post has been edited by Martyr2: 05 February 2011 - 03:52 PM

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