Today, I have a really insightful guest post to share with you written by Mia. Here, Mia is telling us all about her decision to take a gap year, and advice on how to spend your gap year if you cannot afford to go travelling. I hope you enjoy this post, and remember to go and visit Mia’s lovely blog here!
I am currently on a hiatus from life. I don’t know what to do, I don’t know where to go, I don’t know where I want to end up, and I’m not really quite sure who I want to be yet either. So, because of my habitual indecisiveness, I decided to take a Gap Year, and let me tell you, it’s not all saving orphaned elephants in the rainforest.
Had I known that I would spend two years of my life feeling the most stressed that I have ever been, I would have told myself resolutely, that I would take a Gap Year at the end of sixth form. But no. I was not aware of the blood, sweat and tears (SO many tears) that would have to go into gaining three A-levels. I worked bloody hard for my grades, but I paid for it too. I got unbelievably stressed, which therefore made me ill, which therefore made me miss lessons, which therefore made me stressed again. I was not a pleasant person to be around. My friends still like to remind me that I favoured grunting to actual speech when I was in a spiral of stress.
Not that sixth form wasn’t worth it. I made some amazing friends and memories, I learned a lot, and I discovered things. We laughed a lot, because if you didn’t laugh, you’d probably cry. A-levels are hard, man, I don’t care what anyone says.
I learned how to be myself, and how to do my own thing. Sixth form gave me the confidence to branch out and do things that I wouldn’t normally do. I went to Auschwitz in Poland as part of a history trip, I started my blog, I got slightly less shy (but only slightly, that still remains an issue) and I even started going to parties. It was good. I even loved my subjects, but they were difficult and required a lot of brain power; brain power that started to dwindle by the end of the two years at sixth form. Not only this, but I had the pressure of University applications to think about too. I didn’t even consider a Gap Year as an option- I would go to Uni, just like everyone else.
But I still wasn’t sure. There was always something niggling at me; when my friends started getting excited about Uni, I was just anxious. When they started buying pots and pans and duvet covers, I just ignored the situation and wished it would go away.
I got offered a place at Brighton University to study Media & English Literature, so I had done what I set out to do. That was Stage One complete. Now I just had to get there. But the closer September got, the more I started to think. Do I really want to go? Am I ready for something like this, really? And the answer was no. Truly, I am not.
And it’s okay to say that.