Unless you want to pursue a PhD, you should learn as much as you can outside of the classroom.
Don’t let college get in the way of your education
I went off to college with the hopes of being taught something. I can honestly say the economics I have learned could have been learned from a close reading of the Freakonomics series and books by Malcolm Gladwell, and the statistical programs I learned from my coursework, I could have learned from YouTube.
I applied myself to my schoolwork, but I did not get that much in return. I needed college for the status of being a college graduate with a good GPA. Probably, you will need college for the same reason, too.
Because colleges are unwilling or unable to teach most of you, I urge you to learn outside of the classroom through work and leadership experiences.
What is work?
Work to me means any extracurricular activity that you can explain during an interview. This can involve traditional paying jobs, but can also include leadership experiences such as organizing a team for a local charity. Whichever route you choose, ensure you are learning skills that are useful in your next desired role and/or pursuing leadership duties. Learning skills and having more responsibility are two other ways you are “compensated” for the work you do.
Why take a Gap Year (GY) to work?
Because no one else will.
From my high school graduating class, I know only one person who took a GY. He was also the top 1% in the nation at something.
You are in college to differentiate yourself from the rest of the labor market who only hold high school diplomas. By working before and during college, you will differentiate yourself from the inexperienced freshmen. Because recruitment for most worthwhile internships starts late fall/early spring, you will be a better hire than most other freshmen. While most freshmen will spend their summers not working on something related to their major/career, you will be building momentum towards securing a better opportunity as a sophomore. This momentum will continue through college and into your late 20s.
Paired with the Social Gap Year, you will be better than 95% of your peers.
Who is the Professional Gap Year for?
The Professional Gap Year is the most directly helpful for someone primarily considering client-facing industries such as sales, finance, and consulting. You know what, so is the Social Gap Year. That doesn’t mean you budding STEM people can’t benefit — actually you stand to benefit the most because you will be rounding out your personality.
Also, I assume you just finished high school and live with your parents who don’t/can’t pay for your expenses.
What will this program do?
It will give a you possible ideas and methods that will increase your work and/or leadership experience. Also, whenever I can, I will tie this into the Social Gap Year program I am developing. So when you take the GY, you will know that you’ll be a beast in college.