When deciding where I wanted to study and what I would study, I had this weird “I can’t be bothered to research into it” kind of feeling when sat with loads of eager 18 year olds desperate to get to University. I understand now that a lot of people get this feeling but at the time I didn’t and I panicked and just applied anyway.
I currently have an offer to study Fashion at Liverpool John Moores University next September and you know as well as me if I am going to take it or not. I achieved, in my opinion, pretty decent grades in my A Levels which is why I feel the pressure to live up to them and go to University like everybody else who achieved A’s and B’s, but if someone asked me a year or two ago whether I wanted to go to University, I wouldn’t think twice about saying no. To a little only child who has had quite a protected and pleasant little life under their parent’s wings, moving out to a different city with people they have never met is extremely daunting.
When I was planning what I want to do with my life, a certain career wasn’t jumping out at me. I love fashion and I have always assumed that I would end up in the fashion industry somewhere but I never knew what I would specifically be doing. I am definitely not eccentric enough to be a designer. I could see myself as a buyer but I am not sure I would want to keep flying around the world all the time. It may be perfect and exciting for some but I don’t think I would enjoy being away from home and my family so often. I love photography but I haven’t got any photography qualifications so that’s out the picture (pun not intended, well, it kind of was) and then I am left with journalism but my personal dictionary doesn’t have the longest of words in there so that’s off the cards too. I also have a Maths A level but I’m just not sure if I am the 9 to 5, “I will work out your statistics for you, Sir” kind of girl. I need to be creative and have a job that I will want to wake up for. I think that my indecisive confused head will be giving you an idea of why I decided that a gap year would buy me some time to figure out what I want to do with my life.
Additionally, I don’t feel ready for University. I do consider myself independent but in a different sort of way. If it was required for me to do something I have never done before on my own I wouldn’t really have a problem doing it as long as I can get into my own bed that night and I have been the same since I was little. Personally, I’m ok being this way as it doesn’t stop me achieving my goals and I still get to experience new things but the pressure to be that little bit more independent is always sitting on my shoulders. I would love to travel a little bit and do crazy things like paragliding in the Alps but I think that forcing myself to be out of character and spend 2 months in Thailand feeding an elephant, although cool, just wouldn’t be me. Nowadays as its easier for people to share their amazing adventures online and reach more people when doing so, it in turn inspires more people to do the same. This consequently makes tentative people like me start to feel the pressure to want to have similar experiences and I think that not feeling ready to do things like that is ok. I am 18 years old. When I finish work I text my Dad so he knows when to put the tea on. I spend 80% of the money I earn on clothes. I prefer a day out to a night out and I am ok with that but I don’t think that other people that are similar to me allow themselves to be ok with it.
At the end of the day, I am just allowing myself time to breathe, and let the thoughts in my head slow down a little bit until they make sense. Having a gap year allows me to spend time doing things that I love and I may even find something I love so much that I would like to make a life out of it. A gap year isn’t just for crazy adventures, it’s also for figuring out who you are – which is the best type of adventure.