How about a post-graduate year doing some combination of the following (not just one, how about all):I have just a few things to add to this list...
- Spend twenty hours a week running a project for a non-profit.
- Teach yourself Java, HTML, Flash, PHP and SQL. Not a little, but mastery. [Clarification: I know you can't become a master programmer of all these in a year. I used the word mastery to distinguish it from 'familiarity' which is what you get from one of those Dummies type books. I would hope you could write code that solves problems, works and is reasonably clear, not that you can program well enough to work for Joel Spolsky. Sorry if I ruffled feathers.]
- Volunteer to coach or assistant coach a kids sports team.
- Start, run and grow an online community.
- Give a speech a week to local organizations.
- Write a regular newsletter or blog about an industry you care about.
- Learn a foreign language fluently.
- Write three detailed business plans for projects in the industry you care about.
- Self-publish a book.
- Run a marathon.
- Turn off the TV and put the video games in storage. Take a technology fast unless, of course, you are doing #2 above.
- Become a mentor to someone.
- Become an expert in something that fascinates you then blog about it, posting everyday.
- Volunteer to read to a blind person for at least an hour per week.
- Start a non-profit organization advocating whatever is close to your heart.
- Learn everything there is to know about LinkedIN.
- Become a master at social media, then blog about it everyday, then self-publish a book on it.
- Discover who THE mover/shaker is for your community and shadow him or her one day per week for as long as he or she will allow you to. Then analyze, and write about what you learned.
Engraved in His palm,