You’ve just spent the past 17 years of your life in class after class all day long, doing homework at night and on weekends, and then used up any remaining free time with extra curricular activities that will “look good on an application or resume” in the future.
Congratulations! Here’s your prize: you get to spend the next 40 years working!
You owe it to yourself to take a damn break. Take a gap year and teach ESL abroad.
While teaching ESL certainly is a job and involves a lot of hard work, the average teaching hours per week are around 20-25, a far cry from the guaranteed 40 hours a week back home.
Take time to figure out what is next
Use this newly found free time to focus on you. Afterall, that is what a gap year is all about.
Do some solo traveling to a city whose name you can’t pronounce. Get lost wandering through streets with absolutely no agenda. Pop in and out of odd-smelling shops, eat something crazy from a street vendor, take a few deep breaths and slow down. You finally have some time to slow down.
By slowing down and taking some time for you and nobody else but you, things will become much clearer. There’s something about going somewhere where nobody knows your name that reveals who you are and what you truly desire out of life.
With this clarity, you may realize truths that you didn’t know about yourself.
Maybe after this year you want to go back and get your Masters degree. Maybe you decide that the job you wanted but weren’t sure about is still the job you want. Maybe you’ll finally be honest with yourself and acknowledge that you don’t want to do anything within your field of study. And maybe you’ll look around and notice how big the world really is and decide to never go back at all.
It all starts with taking some time to slow down and really think about what you want to do next, not just following what you “should” do next.
Invest in yourself
Another great way to use your free time is to explore hobbies and interests you haven’t had time for in the past. Buy a used guitar and let YouTube be your instructor. Do yoga everyday and master Bakasana. Read a book on how to code. In fact, read everything you can on a wide range of subjects. Whatever you do, treat this year as an investment in yourself. It will benefit whatever you decide to do next.
Save money for whatever is next
ESL teacher salaries fluctuate depending on what country you’re in. However most ESL teachers are able to save something at the end of each month while living comfortably. It’s not uncommon for ESL teachers to have ample money for weekend and vacation trips, or even pay off their student loans!
While your friends back home rack up credit card debt on a trip to Fort Lauderdale, you’ll be quietly saving a nice chunk of each paycheck for whatever comes next.
There will never be a better time
The average graduate is 23 years old. They are likely not married and usually don’t have any children. There will never be a more perfect time to do this. Car payments, mortgages, and credit card bills cripple plans of doing this later. Take a gap year while you still can.
It’s only a year. What’s the worst that could happen?
You’re staring down the barrel of 40 years of work and deciding whether or not to use one of them on a gap year. Will it be worth it?
Let’s say it’s horrible. It’s the worst year of your life. You hated every minute of it.
Well, you’ll be able to go home knowing a bit of a new language, have a few extra stamps in your passport, and you’ll never have to wonder “what if?”
What if it’s absolutely epic?
What if it is so much more than you could ever imagine?
Take a gap year and teach ESL.
We’ve got you covered
Once you’ve decided to take a gap year and teach ESL, you may ask yourself, “Wait a minute. I’ve never taught a day in my life. What am I thinking?”
Relax, TEFL Adventure has your back! We’ve compiled decades of experience in the ESL classroom to create our 120-hour, lifetime guaranteed, online TEFL certification course. Through six units broken down into dozens of modules, you’ll go from complete beginner to confident ESL teacher in no time. See you abroad!