16 November, 2018
Today it’s some soul talk time. I have to admit that I am a fashion junkie and I always tend to write about the snazziest of the fashion trends. It is like my mind never sleeps and all I am thinking of is “Which fashion trend will be the next big hit?”. Crazy, right. Whenever someone is passionate about doing something, they are going to do it, no matter what.
Now the question here is, “Was I always this passionate?”. Well, I would say, yes but I was more ambitious than passionate. There was a moment in my life, where things took a 180-degree sharp turn and I did not like it much. It is like you have planned something since the day you cried first and now you are on a different tangent altogether. I passed my high school and I could not make it to my dream college. That was the point when I made a life-altering decision and I really don’t know if it’s for the good or for the worse. I chose to go with my preferred subject than my preferred college. This one decision created a domino effect and one after another, a series of events that were way out of my control started to occur. And there was no going back. It’s done. This will not surprise you if I say that I feel most of the times that grass is much greener on the other side. And I regret my decision often. I would sometimes feel that the world is falling apart and what if I had chosen the college and not the subject. Would I have been happier? I don’t know and I can’t go back in time, so I will never know.
But one thing I know, that if you are preparing to give your dream college the best shot, then this is the right time. And you have landed yourself just to the right spot. Now, I am no education or career counsellor. These are my opinions which you may or may not consider. I am sharing here my experiences so that you can learn from my mistakes (yes, I think it was a mistake). When I did not make it to the college, I was a wreck but not broken. I was still dreaming to get a chance and wanted to make it to the college. So, I thought that I could probably take a gap year and the chances might get better the next year. I contemplated the decision for so long but finally, I could not call it out. So, I got myself enrolled in another college with my preferred subject. I got 50% of what I wanted and I can never experience the other half. After all these years, I think about the things that stopped me from going for a gap year. It was fear of being unproductive, anti-social, slouchy and the fear of being left out. This was, of course, all in my head and a gap year can be one of the best decisions you made. You can turn your gap year into a productive, wonderful and unforgettable experience by doing just a few things. Keep reading!
When you get engrossed in studying, whatever the subject may be, you can find that you are often oblivious to what is going on around you. While studying is working towards your end goal and ambition, and potentially the career you want to have, it can also stop you from experiencing other things that can be just as valuable. Many people consider taking breaks and gap years, and I thought I would share with you some of the ideas you could consider.
1. Travel and see the world
One of the most popular ways to spend a gap year is to see the world and travel. This might be in different ways. You could backpack and stay in cheaper accommodation to really experience the culture and what each destination has to offer. Or if you have saved, you can enjoy different resorts in your chosen places. Travelling can help you gain a new perspective on life and the opportunity to meet new and like-minded people. You never know, these people could become friends for life.
2. Live in a different country
Maybe you want to take the travel element one step further and live in a different country? This could give you a chance to experience a new culture first hand, and also gain some valuable life experience. There will always be a cheap property for rent if you search it out online, and there can be some surprising advantages to living in a different country. It may make you realise that you want to live elsewhere, or it certainly could be an advantage for your resume when you begin applying for jobs in the future.
3. Work on your dreams and ambitions
This may sound a little cheesy, but hear me out. When do you ever get the time that can be solely dedicated to working on what you want to do with your life? Almost never. We all have snapshots of what we want to do, but do we have ironed out plans? Do we know the exact steps to take to make it happen? A gap year could be used to understand what your dreams and ambitions are, and how you plan on making them a reality.
4. Volunteer and work with charity
A lot of people like the idea of using their gap year for good use and one way you could do that would be to work with charities or volunteers. This could be done locally, perhaps within your community, or you could choose to do it abroad. There are many options to consider such as teaching, building, working in offices or fundraising. Whichever option you decide upon, you are bound to be doing some good. Plus the feeling of satisfaction is something money cannot buy.
5. Gain valuable work experience
A gap year could be used purely to gain some work experience, maybe even in your chosen field or industry that you want to work in. There are things like internships that can give you some solid experience and knowledge, or you could apply for paid work and start in different positions. The knowledge gained could help you towards your qualifications, or be seen as a great way to get a step in the door when the time comes to apply for more permanent work. The fact that you have work experience could enable you to be ahead of the competition for jobs in the future.
6. Think about a lifestyle change
Perhaps you like the idea of changing your lifestyle, and having the time to actually concentrate on doing that could be just what you need. A lifestyle change can be anything from the diet you have, to the amount of exercise you take. It could be going vegan or trying to train for different levels of fitness. Maybe the lifestyle change is all about your mindset. Enabling you to focus on how you feel and your outlook on life.
7. Study part-time
Finally, although traditionally a gap year is all about a break from studying, perhaps you could use the opportunity to study part-time something different. Maybe you would benefit from learning a language, and so a gap year could give you that chance to make it happen. Or even give you an opportunity to study something completely different while working out what you want to do for the future. The options are endless, and a part-time course could be something you dedicate your daytime or evenings too.
I hope this has given you some inspiration on how you could enjoy a GAP year should you decide to take one. If you had a gap year earlier, then I would totally love to hear about your experiences. If you happen to take a gap year, then let me know what is the one thing that you will do for sure during that period. Don’t hesitate to share them in the comments section below before you leave.
Until next time,
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