While students now don’t hesitate in taking a gap year, yet a gap year is very often labelled with depression and anxieties. Too much of competition has made it difficult to even choose a year off to sit home and have time to rethink and redefine goals and lifestyle. Some of the most frequently asked questions related to gap year is “what to do in a gap year” and “how to tackle gap year anxieties”. Here we will dig the answers for the same.
A gap year provides time and space to learn about oneself and the world. And if that is the only thing you keep in focus while taking one your anxieties won’t find a room in you.
I suppose this is the part where I must add the disclaimer – I TOOK A GAP YEAR!
In 2019 I was graduated from the college and it was time for me to either go for higher studies or opt a job. During the three years of my graduation life I thought all I want to be is a “successful writer”. I started working for the same from day 01 of my graduation. Meanwhile I did a lot of internships and gained ample of experience in the field. I even funded my trips by doing writing projects and internships.
Once I was done with my graduation it was time for me to take the decision and go ahead with it. But instead I stopped and I decided to take a gap of one year. It was time for me to run ahead while I sat by a river to relax!
WHY I TOOK A GAP YEAR?
As I was doing my graduation I believed I knew what it means to be “successful”. I was certain that I knew the definition of it. Once three years passed by I felt a very strong urge to stop, rethink and redefine what success means to me. I realized for three years I carried a definition based on the world around me, and it was time to redefine and realign it with me for me.
Success – It’s no longer about the hefty pay check, but the barrier breaking, determination to set your goals and make them happen.
I was just one step away from joining a post-grad college when I realized I was not at all ready to join another race without giving enough time to decide the path I really wish to choose. I found people around me compromising their plans just to move forward and I found myself rushing with them.
This was what I never wanted to do.
This was what I am glad I didn’t do.
WHAT TO DO IN A GAP YEAR?
LIVE LIFE TO THE FULLEST
All your college life you could not execute most of the plans that you made. This is the moment when you have plans in your head and time in hand. Don’t stop yourself from doing anything that you want to do. Be it attending an art event, a workshop, a comedy stand-up or rushing for first day first show of an upcoming movie. Travel to places you always wanted to and live life to the fullest.
My gap year motto was “Netflix and hills”. I watched n number of good movies and even celebrated my birthday in a remote village of Himachal Pradesh.
BOOST YOUR RESUME
While you are not on a 9 to 5 job, make sure to not let your resume go downhill. Be it a crash course or a freelance project, try to boost your resume while you sip homemade masala chai.
During my gap year I worked as a Freelance writer taking only minimal projects in hand to stay occupied while I have all the time to experience and learn from the gap that I had finally taken.
DISCOVER A NEW HOBBY
They say a gap year exhaust you, I say take one and you will know how wrong they can be!
While my friends and family were concerned about how I might deteriorate my mental health I was working well on uplifting it with ways I never discovered till now!
I found an amazing hobby. I found myself painting characters and even did an art exhibition where I was selling characters painted and designed by me. Click here to meet Emma and Bella who are still looking for homes!
Art indeed is the key to joy.
You might end up learning how to play your favourite song on ukulele or how to make the best mocha latte. Discovering new hobbies is a joy in itself and I hope you never miss it!
WATCH THE SUNRISE AND THE SUNSET
Do ample of road trips and find yourself cherishing sunrise and sunset more often.
When in college, I was either too exhausted to sleep all Saturday or too excited to rush to clubs on Fridays. The in-between was missing! But this year I spent a lot of evenings cherishing sunsets with my Fujifilm in hand.
YOU ARE EXPERIENCING A CHALLENGE FEW ACCEPT.
While I talk about the pros of taking a gap year I won’t hesitate in saying that it indeed is a challenge in itself, a challenge that very few accept. Staying away from the path for a while watching your friends move ahead is sometimes tough to handle.
HOW TO TACKLE GAP YEAR ANXIETIES!
- I advise that if you ever plan to take a gap year make a note of your “whys” and stick it somewhere in your room. Don’t let the world be the judge of your plans.
The purpose of gap year is to grow, experiment, experience and live. And if you have buckled up your belt for it, don’t let a speed breaker crash your will to reach the destination.
- Do things to stay away from chaotic thoughts and cherish your relaxation time. You might not have it again!
- Most of the gap year anxieties happen when you see your friends uploading a lot of stuff about their new college or work space. If this triggers you ~ Take a social media break and focus on your growth.
- Say no to endless social-media scroll and read yourself to sleep.
- Track your personal growth and journal it every day.
“On and on you will hike. And I know you’ll hike far and face up to your problems whatever they are.”
until next time, Ankita Taneja. xoxo