I’m an extrovert. I am constantly on the look out for things to keep me busy. I need to be doing something at all times, all the time.
So, when I finished school, after the celebratory drinks had finished and the schoolies hangover had passed, I was left feeling lost. Whenever I wasn’t at work, I would sit at home just waiting and waiting for something to happen; the idea of finally starting university seemed like it was going to fix this.
Starting uni was exciting. Venturing out into the big city was what I had always dreamed of doing; buying myself a coffee before class, hanging out with my *cool* uni friends, but, that’s where the novelty wore off.
I slogged through my very minimal tutorials and lectures, trying to get myself into the swing of something I had been looking forward to for years, but I couldn’t. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t force myself to believe that university was right for me, at that time.
So, after everyone on my table at one of my tutes told me to take a gap year, I did, and ten months on, I couldn’t have made a better decision.
I’m going to be honest, as soon as you click that withdraw button you’re thrown into the deep end. Everything you assumed about the year you were about to have is thrown out the window and the feeling of being lost is instantaneous.
I didn’t know if I was making the right decision at the time. I didn’t know what I was going to do for the rest of my year, but one of the things I was lucky enough to have realised early on is that I wasn’t in a rush to have my shit together.
I was lucky to have some savings behind me to be able to hastily book a trip away when I dropped out and travel was first of many good decisions I’ve made since having the blessing of freedom. I was able to see a part of the world before most of my friends had and I was able to have time to think about what I was going to do for the rest of the year.
Unfortunately, pursuing a passion is always met with a bit of a stigma. But, if you realise the enormous amount of time that you have to figure yourself out, it’s ridiculous if you don’t delegate an amount of time to at least try and figure out if your passion can be turned into a career.
Ambition can get you a ridiculously long way if you put your mind to it, you just have to force yourself to be productive. I don’t know if I’m going to go back to uni, I don’t know if I’m going to stay on the path I’m currently on but all I do know is that, at the ripe age of 18, there is no rush; my career is not on a timer.
Dropping out was one of the best decisions of my life so far. I’ve achieved more in my own time, on my own terms this year than I would’ve dreamed of a year ago. If you’re tossing and turning about uni, know it’s okay to take a break. Know that it’s okay to do nothing. Know that it’s okay to travel. Know that it’s okay to live on your own terms, to figure yourself out, for the very first time in your life.