Taking a gap year, but w/o a job.

<p>Right now I'm on gap year (pre-university), and I'd like to know a few things that I couldn't quite scrape from google.</p>

<p>Because of personal family matters, I have to stay close to home, limiting me to three things:</p>

<p>A) Job / Community Service
B) Internship
C) Study</p>

<p>I'm a volunteer teacher's aide for a small private school and soon (like...next week) to be a counselor for a non-profit organization. Total, this is less than 10 hours/week. So I'm doing half of A.</p>

<p>Not only because my family has a high salary, but a job seems to not go so well for me. I've applied to at least a dozen places and not gotten accepted to one. So most likely a job might not get into the college application, but something I'll end up doing after the process...sadly...</p>

<p>An internship is almost out of the question for me since most internships here require experience and only want college undergrads/graduate students. </p>

<p>Which narrows me down to C) Study. Now here is where I would like some guidance :). My career goal demands strong mathematics, and sadly the Calculus/Trig curriculum I received at my HS was VERY lacking. I wish to spend a strong majority of my gap year studying Calculus, polish up Trig, and Statistics. However, I don't know whether I should study by myself through a set schedule or with a private tutor or online. </p>

<p>A concern I have is that the universities I'm applying for in November would get the impression that I'm not spending my year well, and if I went with the route to study by myself, chances are that that would only matter in an interview if I was to be asked directly of how I'm spending this free year of mine rather than on an application. </p>

<p>Do any of you guys here have any recommendations on making the best use of my gap year through studying? Any tips (even general ones outside of studies) on taking gap years would be appreciated! :D</p>

<p>Can't you take some courses at a local college? That's what i'm doing. Just check with the schools you're interested in applying to afterwards if they have a maximum number of courses/credits you can take.
If you can't get a job, at least find some more serious volunteer work to do.</p>

<p>I'm facing the same problem. In India we can't take a course at college without enrolling for a degree, so i really don't know what to do.
I have worked extensively with the Rotary club for the past few years and have significantly increased the amount of work i'm putting in since i'm free now.
I'm doing a LOT (really a LOT) of study on the subjects i'm hoping to study at college.
Please do give some advice......</p>

<p><em>bump</em>, we need more answers ^^</p>


<p>I don't know why you're not considering community service. Becoming a math tutor or something along those lines to high school students in addition to taking classes at a local university would probably be the best route you can take. I don't think "studying" during a gap year is going to cut the mustard at most universities. They really do want to see you doing something tangible and structured.</p>

<p>i said : "I have worked extensively with the Rotary club for the past few years and have significantly increased the amount of work i'm putting in since i'm free now."</p>

<p>I am doing a lot of volunteer work..... but it doesn't make much sense to do just volunteer work for the whole year, its just a couple of hours each day on average.</p>

<p>Frankly, in my opinion, unless you're planning on majoring in a math or science-related field, so need to keep up your math skills, it makes far more sense to do community service fulltime than to take academic courses.</p>

<p>Doing fulltime community service will allow you to make a contribution to society; learn more about yourself, the world and your interests, including possible fields you may wish to enter. You also may have some major responsibilities, far more major than you'd be able to usually obtain as an 18 or 19-year-old.</p>

<p>Gap year community service with responsibility and leadership also tends to be far more impressive to colleges than academic work, which is simply more of the same. The only other reasons to take courses beside the reason in the first paragraph would be if you had a relatively low gpa in h.s. and are trying to achieve a stronger one to increase your chances of getting into a decent college or if you are taking courses in something that you won't be able to take in college.</p>

<p>For instance, if you plan to be an engineering major, but also like creative writing, you could take some creative writing courses now because it's hard to fit such courses into an engineering majors schedule.</p>

<p>Just make sure that you don't take so many college courses that you would have to enter college as a transfer. I believe to remain classified as a freshman, you can't take more than 4 college courses during a gap year, but ask the college about this.</p>

<p>For example, Brown said I could take as many courses as I want, as long as I don't enroll full-time.</p>

<p>Taking a course doesn't have to be official, unless you want to transfer credit. If all you really want is to keep in form intellectually, you could just sneak in and attend courses you enjoy. That's what i'll be doing ^^. Don't know how illegal/immoral this is, since i'm not paying anything, but then again in a room with 200 students who's gonna notice?</p>

<p>"Don't know how illegal/immoral this is, since i'm not paying anything, but "</p>

<p>It doesn't take an ethicist to know that if you're sneaking into a course that you haven't paid for, you are stealing. After all, most colleges charge for auditors. Now, if you asked the prof for permission to sit in, that's different.</p>

<p>Well, the thing is I know the profs whose courses i'll be attending, and they are were the ones who invited me, but that doesn't really change the moral aspect.</p>

<p>Anyway, that's not the issue here, let's stay on topic</p>

<p>I really liked your response, and yes...I am indeed planning on majoring in a math -related field, so i think it will be necessary. </p>

<p>but right now i am a volunteer counselor for a low-income residential complex and a volunteer assistant teacher for a small private school. however, the total hours i spend for the two isn't much, so I'm still looking for more to do. any suggestions?</p>

<p>Start an afterschool or Saturday academic prep program for low income student. Do it at a school, church, community center (Boys and Girls Club? Battered women's shelter? Homeless shelter? ) or other facility that serves low income people.</p>

<p>You will spend a lot of time getting this started and preparing lesson plans and activities and perhaps even raising funds to support it. By doing this, you'll learn a great deal about your community, yourself, leadership, etc. You'll also be serving others in a way that maximizes yoru talents. </p>

<p>Expect many challenges as you do this. I've started programs and there always are surprise things that are difficult to deal with. However, there are few things more fulfilling than helping others by usng your own talents, creativity and plans. Take advantage of professional organizations and other places that may be able to work with you as you proceed. Perhaps, too, you could get help from staff and students at your former high school. Don't make it a one person show. The more you collaborate, the better your program will be.</p>