Bridging the gap

There's a massive amount of pressure on young people to know what they want right away. This one young person took their time, used their gap year to grow up.

girl and guy chatting at uni
It wasn't about what my parents, or partner wanted; it was about what I wanted and needed.

When I finished high school, I felt like the only person who didn't know what they wanted. At the year 12 leaving event, we all sat around talking about where we would be in a few years. Most talked about being a year into a maths, psychology, horticulture, or education degree. Some talked about their hairdressing apprenticeships and others about working in their parents business. Me, well I smiled politely and said 'I'm not really sure, we'll see what happens when my marks arrive'.

When my mark did arrive, it was 25 marks better than expected, and I had been offered a scholarship to study at one of the best universities around. My friends and family were thrilled for me, and to be honest I was pretty chuffed too. However, when it came to crunch time, my signature never ended up on the acceptance form. No one could understand why I didn't take up this 'amazing offer'. But it wasn't about what my parents, or partner wanted; it was about what I wanted and needed. I needed to get out into the real world for a while and take time out to do things on my own terms and find out what I really wanted out of life.

Change of direction

That year was spent doing a whole range of things, from set building and dramaturgy, to working in a shop and writing articles and reviews for a local industry newspaper. I found that I really enjoyed some things and hated doing others. But the year was drifting along and I still didn't really have any idea what to do with my life.

In a rather drastic attempt to throw myself head first into a reality check, I boarded a plane and headed for the village in the United Kingdom where I was born. It took me a few months of further drifting, but I have finally found which direction to take. I've rolled all my skills together and now use the performing arts to help young people cope with their problems.

But I feel there is only so far I can go with my career having only a year 12 certificate. So finally, after two years of intense soul searching I am ready to use my school marks and start Uni. I'm glad I didn't give into the pressure of diving straight into Uni though. Taking a Gap year (or two) was the right thing for me to do. It has put things into focus for me and given me the time to do the growing up I needed to do. Most importantly it allowed me to learn a few things along the way.

Last reviewed: 20 August, 2015
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