What I’ve Learned So Far As A Gap Year Student
1 year ago

Before I get started with this post, I want to take the time to wish those reading a Happy New Year. May 2023 be a year of joy, delight and lots of good things to come. Admittedly, I’ve been enjoying this year so far by resting, going to the gym, journaling and most importantly- eating good food!

This blog post may be a bit different from the usual content that’s usually uploaded, however I believe this one will give someone assurance about the choices you might make post A-Levels.

The summer of 2022 was a fun yet daunting one. Although it had been spent with friends and family, I couldn’t shake off the feeling of fear. One thing that I’ve learned since being in education at the age of 4, is that we are conditioned to believe that our education defines our future. To an extent, I agree. But to feel as though other than your education, you have nothing to achieve in life, is where I draw the line.

Fast forward August 18th. I remember walking into school, legs shaking, teeth grinding against each other and I received my results. I passed, got into the chosen university I desired to go to and everyone’s proud- except for me. What you do after A-Levels is so important because now you have a choice to make. This choice can either shape you or break you. I made the choice to do an apprenticeship. An apprenticeship in a career path I never wanted to do in the first place. Why did I make that decision? Quite frankly, I feared missing out. I wanted to be involved in something. If it wasn’t university, it had to do with something else without feeling ‘behind’.

Fortunately, I made the decision to drop out of the apprenticeship and take a gap year to figure out what it is that I want. I’m proud to say that I am currently working as a Clerking Assistant at a Barristers’ Chambers and planning to go back to education, taking an undergraduate course in either Law or Law with a Joint Honours degree.

I wouldn’t have been able to change what needed to be changed if I hadn’t received the support of close friends and my two sisters. I wouldn’t have been able to do what I needed to do if I didn’t believe in myself. Sometimes you can be your own biggest critic thereby comparing your journey to others. I am reminded of the following quote, ‘’Life is a marathon, not a sprint.’’ I tend to forget that I am so young. Instead of living like time is running out, I should live as though time is just about getting by.

Here are a few things that I’ve learned so far as a gap year student. Hopefully this may be of use to anybody reading and considering to take a gap year:

  • It’s okay not to have everything sorted out. In due time, you’ll know what you want to do and even if you made a wrong choice, start again.
  • Life is a marathon, not a sprint. Some things take time and even if you may not know exactly where you need to be, you will get to where you need to be.
  • Treasure your life. Life is more than just about your education.
  • Building yourself - an advantage of taking a gap year is that you’re able to rediscover yourself. Develop new hobbies, self-reflect, do what you need to do to invest in yourself.
  • Work experience - a gap year is the chance for you to gain experience in the sector you see yourself working in. A career demanding and competitive like Law requires such experience. I’m glad I have the opportunity to work in the legal field (which I plan to continue to work after my gap year)!

Remember, life is a marathon not a sprint. 

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