Monday, November 25, 2013

How to survive a not so exciting gap year

2013 was my first year out of high school. I deferred my university course so I could spend a year living with my parents and younger sister in our rural town, working and saving some much needed money. At first I was excited at the prospect of a whole year free of exams and late nights hunched over my laptop drinking mug after mug of tea and writing essays about Roman emperors.

But a few months into the year, with most of my friends starting university in capital cities or heading off overseas to nanny tiny children with adorable British accents, the menial nature of my nine to five administrative job started to sink in and my gap year wasn’t looking so crash hot anymore.

The year has nearly ended, though, and I somehow managed to get through days of photocopying and stapling and listening to (really, really bad) on hold music. If you are also intending to take a gap year that doesn’t involve the typical gallivanting about the globe, here are some tips to help you survive. 

It is best not to follow your friends/acquaintances/anyone your age really who is overseas on Instagram. You will most likely find yourself sighing over pictures of them posing in front of the Eiffel Tower, swimming in Santorini and riding round on double decker buses in London, whilst scoffing down a block of Cadbury chocolate and feeling sorry for yourself.

Sometimes it is ok to call in “sick.” Go ahead. Really. Sit on the couch all day and have a Harry Potter marathon. You deserve it.

Remind yourself of the savings you will have to help you through the years ahead. You should be chuffed that you will not be penniless and living on packets of Maggi chicken noodles whilst you are at university.

Get yourself a hobby. This is important as you will probably have a lot of free time and there are only so many TV seasons you can watch. For me, it was running. When I was at school there were not many things I hated more than PE lessons. I remember running around the oval and pondering whether anyone would notice I was missing if I hid in the change rooms next lesson. But after this year I can run the distance of a half-marathon and enjoy doing it, which is pretty sweet.

Be happy when exam time rolls around at uni. Find joy in the fact that your Facebook newsfeed is clogged with statuses complaining about studying whilst you are cocooned in your doona making your way through an embarrassing number of Buffy episodes.

Enjoy it. Sure, you might not be off on some crazy Contiki tour like your friends or learning new and exciting things at university just yet, but you get to come home at the end of each day to your family and your pets and maybe a nice cup of tea made by your mum. And I’ve realised that those things are another kind of great.  

{Photo (of where I really, really wish I could have been this year) by voldy92}

1 comment:

  1. I didn't take a gap year but you made some good points! It sounds like you've achieved quite a bit this year anyway, with the saving up and being able to run a half marathon!


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