Improve your GPA
While many schools set a minimum GPA of around B, the competitive nature of the program means that a higher GPA will improve your chances of receiving an acceptance (improve, not guarantee). Plus, taking more classes can help you get to know profs better and therefore gain an exceptional letter of recommendation.
Completing a college program can give you academic and practical experience. For example, visit this article to learn more about the Communicative Disorders Assistant (CDA) program. You could also consider applying for related programs such as Autism and Behavioural Science or Aging Studies.
Teach English Abroad
There are many options for teaching English abroad and you can use this opportunity to travel the world, gain teaching experience and potentially make some money as well. Often your university will have information for teaching abroad, therefore it is good to consult an advisor who can connect you to a good company.
You can use your time off to work and save money for future education. Additionally, if you can find a job in the realm of speech science, applied linguistics, or even interacting with people, you can add this experience in your grad school application.
Research is an important part of graduate studies, and it is advantageous to have experience in research before beginning your studies. You can use your year off to complete an independent study, thesis, or assist a professor in their research.
There are certain volunteer hours required for graduate school applications but it is always better to have more than the minimum. Along with more hours, it's good to have experience with multiple populations such as children and the elderly. Visit this article to discover how you can make the most of your volunteer experience.