Years to gap

Given that I’m an adult and have to be responsible all of a sudden, I keep getting asked the simple easy question “So what are you going to do after uni?” Yeah it’s a lot and no it’s not simple or easy. I barely know what I’m having for dinner next week let alone what area of work I’ll eventually slip into. I get asked about internships and placements and possible years off travelling which is unsettling. The concept is still a little scary for me, realising that there is in fact patience and hard work behind the pay slips (ok I knew that anyway but still).

However, being asked if I wanted to do a year of travelling after uni, reminded me of a very interesting conversation that I had with a fellow student last summer at a Spanish festival right after Years and Years had been on. This guy was telling me all about his gap year which he’d just done and how he was starting uni in September. He then asked me if I had done a gap year. I said no and he asked “Why not?” and I said “Well I just wanted to start uni really.” From that he seemed to fall into a passionate speech “No no you’ve got to travel, you’ve got to find yourself. It’s truly amazing and so important. Everyone must do it.”  Funnily I don’t remember his name but I remember what he said very clearly. He was as confident in gap years as I’m confident in making Oreo brownies, and that’s a lot!

Now as I didn’t do a gap year I can’t really argue with him. I’m sure it’s an amazing experience and that everyone who did one thought it was remarkable. It had appealed to me, but I was too desperate to find out how cheap Birmingham alcohol was. Also I worried that taking a year off would bring out a very lazy side of me. I can be pretty lazy at uni anyway.

Although I’m sure travelling is worth the hype that it is given, I didn’t entirely agree with the bold statements made by, erm, oh come on what was his name? Travelling being amazing? Definitely. Important? Hmm, bit a stretch don’t you think. I mean if travelling was free you’d probably never see me again, but it’s not. And there are things arguably more important like a getting a place to live, books for studying, or a round of jager bombs and an Uber for afterwards. No point in saying that everyone must do it when not everyone can, and lots probably don’t want to. Just going to uni is pretty nerve wracking, but at least it offered lots of support, easy access to Tescos and a fully functioning GP.

And finding myself? Bit of a therapy question, but is it supposed to matter where you are? Isn’t it better to create yourself rather than find? I mean, I find myself at home, through doing things that I love, through the people that I love and the way they make me feel. Through unexpected events and dramatic changes that make me realise what are the most important things in life. And in the meantime I’m not actively finding myself because I know who I am, and I don’t have to travel to some exotic country for months to know that.

Maybe I’ll go travelling after uni, or maybe I’ll have too much going on at home. If you think that travelling is all you want to do then of course go do it, but if not that’s fine too. What’s important is to keep doing what you love whatever it may be, even if it does end up draining your bank account like a plug because somehow jager tastes that good.

Have a great week xx

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35 thoughts on “Years to gap

  1. I went straight from school into work so I feel like I skipped the whole uni/gap year thing. Everyone is different so don’t feel like you need to take a gap year but I’m sure you would have an amazing time if you went 💗

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “And in the meantime I’m not actively finding myself because I know who I am, and I don’t have to travel to some exotic country for months to know that.” Loved the post for this! ❤

    I'd taken a gap year after school and joined Uni only this year but my gap year was definitely not to travel across the world and 'find myself'. It was more of a 'I don't know if this is what I want to do so I'll think about it for 14 months' kinda thought.

    Now I'm in a Pre-Med course and though life gets hectic because of Uni, I love doing that because I, at last, know this is what I want. Plus, I'm currently travelling for some Uni work, working together on a project with people like me, so I don't think I need something more to 'find' myself.

    To 'create myself'? Probably a long list of things left to achieve that 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I didn’t go on a gap year and am so glad that I didn’t! I wanted to study and get the hard work out of the way so that I could get into a rewarding career at the end (I didn’t end up in my field of study but that’s just life!) I liked the idea of it, but taking trips once a year imo is just as rewarding and the memories will continue to build! Don’t feel obligated, a lot of people don’t have the luxury of the bank of Mum and Dad to be able to do a thing like this! Really enjoyed this post!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes!! And I think by doing that you’d appreciate the experience more because you worked for it! Since I finished and during uni I’ve managed Turkey (3 times lol), Tunisia, Greece, France and Thailand – but I’ve appreciated it after working my arse off to get there! ❤️

        Liked by 1 person

  4. So interesting to hear your views on this but I have to say I’m with the Spanish guy. Not going travelling before/ after uni is definitely my biggest regret in life. I keep telling myself maybe one day but realistically not sure if that happens when ‘life’ starts. Great read though x

    Sophie
    http://www.glowsteady.co.uk

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I would absolutely consider traveling and seeing some of the world before settling down into jobs family and life… The memories will be priceless!!

    Like

  6. I really liked this post. While I absolutely love traveling and think it’s important and can be life-changing, I personally try to refrain from talking about finding myself while I do it. More so I feel like it shapes ones’ self and more than often, depending on the kind of traveling you do, you can come back feeling different than before you left.
    But I totally agree with your point that finding yourself can be done from the comforts of home — without having to travel the world. In fact the best experiences I’ve had traveling have been after I was comfortable with who I am, and I achieved that at home.
    Anyways, loved this post. Definitely thought provoking and I love reading different opinions like this 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I finished school last year and I always hated that question of what I was going to do and be. I still get asked it and it stresses me out.
    I actually have taken a gap year after school. I’ve spent this year writing my heart out and trying to figure out who I was away from school and work.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I always thought I wanted to travel but there’s so much going on after uni that it just seems like I’d be putting my life on pause in a way? Like there are so many places I would love to visit but I don’t know if I could ever commit to travelling for 6 months, a year, two years to do it. I think you raise an interesting point though. Those that have been travelling always talk about how it’s a must-do, but it’s certainly not attainable for everyone.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I agree with your sentiment- I’ve been travelling and I’d definitely recommend doing it at some point, but ultimately there are more important things in life. Priority should be finding a decent job that pays money and strong relationships. “Life experiences” are great and all that, but like you said they’re expensive and once they’re over that’s it- at the end of the say it’s just consumption.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I really enjoyed reading this post! So relatable! I definitely thought about gap years a lot at the start of this year. Even though I’m starting my first year of Uni straight out of high school, I do want to be able to fit in some travelling during my degree. I’m thinking of doing an exchange in my second year so I can continue my studies while I’m overseas. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

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