When people hear the term, “gap year” they usually think of naive teenagers travelling the world trying to ‘find themselves’. if that’s what your gap year was then that’s great – I hope you had fun and learned a lot. My gap year was kinda different.
I’m coming to the end of my year now – I finish on Friday and it’s Wednesday. Eeeeeekk!! I have had an amazing year and I will be sad to finish but I’m so excited for the next chapter! I’m going on holiday to New York City with my family in summer and then in September I’m going to be studying Fashion Management & Communication at Sheffield Hallam University. Very exciting stuff.
So I took a year out after sixth form so that I could focus on helping other people since my whole life so far has been about myself. I also needed a break from education so this was perfect. I’m working in a Catholic High School volunteering for CAFOD, a Catholic aid charity. I have done a lot this year looking back – I have met wonderful people, made great friends and that the most inspiring trip of my life travelling to Ethiopia to see what work the charity does overseas. I visited livelihood projects, market stalls, climate change work, met people living with HIV, ate the most amazing food – it was all just so nourishing and fulfilling.
This past year I’ve lived and worked in Blackpool, which has been an interesting place and although the place is not really my cup of tea, I’ve made memories here that will last me a lifetime so it will always be special. I’ve grown and developed so much this year it’s like I’m a different person to the shy, quivering wreck of a girl I was last September. I’ve learned so much this year it’s hard to put into words but here is a few:
- Your best really is enough
- Public transport is incredibly inconvenient
- It’s super windy in Blackpool
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help
- Laughter fixes everything
- You shouldn’t keep putting off chores because it makes them worse
- It’s okay to want to be alone and it’s okay to sometimes feel lonely
- I really love trying to help people
- Newcastle is better than I realised
- I have an emotional attachment to my accent
If anyone is considering a gap year, honestly – do it. It’s the best decision I’ve ever made and although it’s been super challenging and there’s been low times I am eternally grateful for the people who’ve been a part of my journey this year.
Please leave comments if you have any questions at all or would like am ore in depth post about my travels or life in Blackpool or working in a school – literally anything!