Gap Years

Why My Last Minute Gap Year Was The Best Decision For Me

words by Ben | photo by @ilovepasta2000

At the beginning of last year, I was getting prepared to start uni and study journalism.

I was set on the fact that university was going to be the cure of all of my post-graduation boredom and that I’d find a purpose and responsibility that set my life on the perfect trajectory.

However, life likes to sometimes trick you into a false sense of stability and after a week or so, I dropped out and started my very impromptu gap year. It was the best decision I could’ve made.

Directly after dropping out I was lost. Did I want to devote my year off to pursuing my passions? Did I want to put my head down and save as much money as I could? Or did I want to get out and see the world?

There’s such an intense pressure to succeed immediately after school that often, people make rash decisions on their future when they should have just sat and thought about about their options before deciding what’s right for them.

My first few weeks post-dropping out saw me trying to plan my year to be as exciting as possible with no real clue of what I wanted to achieve.

I was lucky that I had some savings behind me to travel, so I booked a flight to Greece with my brother and his girlfriend, a month and a half in advance.

Greece was fun! The scenery was incredible, the beaches were stunning and I saw a part of the world that I was completely wowed by. However, in hindsight, the trip waaaaaaaas booked a bit hastily and I probably should’ve thought seriously about what I wanted my year to look like before I started booking random flights around the world.

From there, I started working freelance as a writer, seeing if it was something I could do seriously and I got a job out of it!

Having absolutely no plan for my gap year allowed me to dip my toes into travelling and work without much thought and it’s wild what you can achieve with a healthy dose of ambition while having absolutely no clue what you’re doing. Unpredictability is freeing.

After keeping my dream job, I decided again, hastily, to go on another trip. I met my friends in Vietnam for a month and saw another part of the world I otherwise had no plans of seeing. I had some of the best moments of my life and deciding to have a last minute gap year was again proven one of my greatest decisions.

All in all, what I’m trying to say is that if you’re about to start uni and you’re feeling a bit unsure about it all, that’s okay. Give it a go and if you’re still not feeling it, trust your gut and take that time off studying.

Spend time figuring out who you are and what you want to achieve. Uni isn’t going anywhere and it’s perfectly okay to reapply later on if you realise that’s what you’re meant to be doing. Just don’t be afraid to take a leap of faith. I did it, and it was the best decision I’ve ever made.

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