I never really do much lifestyle on my blog but today i’m going to talk to you about the last year of my life, my gap year. I thought it was fitting to do this now, not only because its around the time that most people consider taking a gap year but also because mine is coming to an end.
This post is a little bit of a story time but theres a message in it if you’re currently at a bump in the road like i was last year.
Lets start with why i decided to take a gap year. During my second year of college i was at a bit of a cross roads; all throughout my life i and my parents had wanted me to go to university but when it came to going back to College in September 2014 i just didn’t feel the enthusiasm. Everyone else seemed excited about starting their applications and had decided what they wanted to study, but when my tutor would ask about my application i would do the classroom equivalent of hiding under the bed covers.
It was towards the end of 2014 that i had decided i didn’t know what i wanted to do with my life, plain and simple i did not have a clue. My solution was to take a gap year “to gain life experience” is what i told everyone. When in reality, it was me wondering were my life goals from the age of 14 a lie and would i end up being the family failure.
After i was done with my 17 year old life crisis, stopped focusing on the future and started focusing on the present i had a much clearer head. Once i stopped worrying about what i was going to do and started thinking about what was happening now, i started working harder in lessons and was able to concentrate on my A Levels, without the constant burden of worrying about getting into university.
As i was only thinking about the present i started enjoying my subjects much more, it felt more like i was in the classroom to learn rather being there just to jump to the next step and quickly realised what i wanted to study at university in the future.
Gap year trip to NYC anyone?
What did i do on my gap year? There are so many different types of gap years: ones where you travel, work, travel and work, work abroad or volunteer. By September 5th i knew i wanted to work, like i had said when i decided to take a gap year i wanted to “gain life experience” and even though that was just a phrase at the time it turned out to be true.
By the second week of my gap year i had secured a full time job in retail and worked in this job full time from September to the end of July; even now in August i’m still working part time in the same place.
Although working full time on a gap year may not be for everyone it was perfect for me, i worked constantly and learned what hard work was sometimes working 9 days in a row. Working in retail also made me more motivated to go to university, i knew i had interests that i wanted to develop and really didn’t want to work in retail forever.
By the end of November 2015 i had my confirmed place at University. I think my crisis during college was down to the fact i was trying to focus on exams, trying to visit and research universities all while not actually knowing what i wanted to do. Life was moving too fast and it was making me unhappy, the time out made me actually realise what i wanted rather than comparing myself to what my friends were doing.
During my gap year i also created something which literally changed my life: this blog. It was something i had considered doing for a while but never had the confidence or time, my gap year was perfect to start something like this. I was no longer in a school environment where quite frankly people would laugh at doing this and didn’t have homework or revision to focus on, so my days off and evenings were mine to use.
After attending my first ever Press event as a blogger. (NotOnTheHighStreet.com)
Quickly my blog became a huge part of my life and one of the reasons i’m so pleased i took a gap year. I had enough time to put my energy into something i was so passionate about which wasn’t controlled or overlooked by anyone or anything – it was managed and created by me and became one of the most important and productive things in my life.
Working full time meant my best friend and i were able to go on the adventure of a lifetime to New York City, stay in a 5 star 5th avenue hotel and shopped till we dropped. That was in April 2016 when that time last year i was in panic mode not having a clue what life had in store for me.
I’m posting this on GCSE results day 2016 purposely because a level and gcse results days are a time where you’re often hit with confusion and worry. If you ever come to a time in the future or present where you really don’t know what you want or what you are going to do i encourage you to think in the moment; start putting yourself first and don’t worry about others passing you by.
It doesn’t hurt to put things on hold for a while and you may even find opportunity along the way which shapes your future.