As you prepare to launch your gap year, your program as likely asked you to commit to self quarantine ahead of your program starting. While this might seem daunting at first, having some time to yourself for reflection and “me time” can be a fantastic way to begin your gap year with intention. Here are some ideas to help you use your time without going stir crazy!
See the checklist below and try to formulate your day by doing something from each category. In addition, check out the suggestions for gap year preparation and see if you can get some more planning done while you have the time.
Gap Year Preparation
Practice packing now – see how things fit into your bags/luggage and what you might still need to buy. (Try following the adage: Pack your bag and take half out. That should be what you bring!)
Read. Yes, read all the documents your gap year program has sent your way.
Have you clarified your 2021 plans? You may need to put down deposits for programs leaving in 2021 before you depart for your fall trip. Check in with Julia if you are unclear about what you need to do before you leave.
Brainstorm the Nov/Dec time period: Many of you will have the awkward nugget of time between Thanksgiving and the holidays. There may be programs you can join, or you stay closer to home and get a job, volunteer or intern.
Let Julia know if you need anything ahead of departure!
Keep Your Mind Active
Art of Solitude: This book helps you reframe solo time as solitude, not loneliness
Inside Bill’s Brain: Profile of Bill Gates’ current projects to solve global inequities. Netflix.
The 13th: Ava DuVernay directed this searing documentary that looks at the mass incarceration of minorities following the passage of the 13th amendment. Netflix
Parts Unknown: Virtual travel opportunity with the late Anthony Bourdain. Netflix.
America to Me: This doc examines the US educational system by following 12 young artists, scholars, iconoclasts, and athletes. It turns out, students are under a lot of pressure, and tensions run high around racial disparity—even in high school. Amazon Prime.
The Mind, Explained: Emma Stone hosts this series that dive into the psychological underpinnings of dreams, psychedelics, mindfulness, and even anxiety. Netflix.
Speed Cubers: This heartwarming doc follows competitive Rubix Cube solvers in their quest for the world championship. Netflix.
Find Time to De-Stress/ Check in with Mental Health
Set aside some time for yoga, meditation or forest bathing (personal favorite!).
Experiment with apps like Headspace for guided meditation.
Do a mental checklist of the tools in your mental health toolkit that you can employ on your gap year when you’ll face specific challenges.
If you see a counselor or therapist, do a pre-trip check in.
Join your EnRoute Gap Year Launch call.
Attend any predeparture info sessions or social media groups with your gap year programs.
IRL: A virtual social calendar updated with things to do from home.
Gather addresses for family and friends so you can send postcards!
Respect Your Space
Tidy your room and any communal living spaces you spend time in.
Organize your childhood bedroom ahead of leaving home (Maybe some Marie Kondoing?).
Help around the house – cook dinner for your parents, mow the lawn, etc etc.
Engage in your favorite types of exercise on a daily basis – aim for at least 30 minutes every day.
DJ D Nice on Instagram hosts virtual dance parties several days per week. Boogie to DJ D-Nice’s blend of golden-age hip-hop, Nineties R&B, and more recent Top 40 party staples.
Rumble: Free full body workouts.
Dance Church: Body and talent inclusive Wednesday and Sunday dance classes for people who can’t usually do dance classes.
Think of some random acts of kindness you can do from home.
Justice in June: Actionable steps to learn about racial justice and take action.
Write thank you notes to people who have helped you get to where you are.
Lean Left VT: Subscribe to this group and receive notifications for single serving election volunteer opportunities (like writing postcards to remind people to vote!).