Take a gap-semester for personal development

On July 23, UCA released additional information for the fall 2020 semester. The plans look promising on paper but for some returning to campus is a life or death decision as coronavirus cases have increased in Arkansas. 

Therefore, it has become the opportune time for college students to forgo the fall semester in pursuit of other personal and professional development activities. Consider pursuing a passion project, volunteering or networking to build your industry-specific contacts.

Pursue A Passion Project  

What’s important to you? What makes you happy? Whatever that thing is, do it now. Set a schedule for yourself and become the boss of your life. A passion project can be a mixture of your interests, enterprise and innovation. Passion projects can make you a stand out and give you a chance to explore new avenues. You can learn music production, coding or even start your own business through passions projects. 

Volunteer For A Nonprofit Organization

In Arkansas, there are numerous nonprofits to volunteer for. Nonprofits offer an array of services and resources to address the needs of the community. Nonprofits can be faith-based organizations, hospitals or community theatres. If you want to make an impact in your community providing your time for the advancement of a nonprofit's mission will be rewarding.

Build Your Network/Attend Virtual Conventions

Create a LinkedIn profile and start connecting with people in the industry that you wish to work in. Tell them about your career goals and why you are reaching out. You are only one message away from connecting with someone who can potentially hire or refer you to other contacts. With social distancing guidelines, there have been virtual conventions, conferences and workshops that can help you to acquire new skill-sets and enhance your resume. 

Taking a gap semester is not going to stunt your growth. It should be a time for self-discovery and inspiration. Yes, you can do all of these things listed while in college. However, you should not pressure yourself to go to college in the fall. But if you absolutely must then go to a community college for cheaper courses that can transfer to your desired 4-year university. 

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