Today I went to my first university open day – the same kind of university open day most of my friends went on this time last year.
Putting things off has always been a talent of mine. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with taking a gap year before committing to your degree. Teachers assured me of this when they told me I was “making an excellent decision” as I’d be “gaining experience of the real world.” I agreed with my teachers – “that’s definitely why I’ve refused to make any decisions Miss.” I continued deceiving people as I entered the ‘real world,’ telling innocent listeners I wanted to ‘learn about an office environment’ and ‘not rush into a course I’d end up disliking.’
The truth is I lied to them all. I didn’t take a gap year because I had elaborate plans to gain work experience or obtain crucial life skills. I took a gap year because I refused to accept any kind of plan at all. Heck, I refused to think about any kind of plan. Throughout sixth form I was surrounded by teens excitedly googling courses as they planned their futures. They all seemed eager to write their personal statements and looked at me with disbelief when I told them I hadn’t started mine yet. I stubbornly reminded everyone I was not applying and deferring a course, but froze up whenever anyone asked me about my gap year.
One year later and I’ve realised nothing much has changed. Although I’ve finally accepted university as a prospect (kind of), I’m still terrified to choose a course in case it ends up being a waste of time. Or a waste of money. Or what if I end up hating the course and drop out? Or what if I miss out on opportunities because I’m at uni? Or what if I miss out on opportunities because I’m not at uni? Ugh this is stressing me out, so I’m definitely not going to think about it right now. Or ever… (Do you see my problem here guys?)
I didn’t write this post to bash people taking gap years because I genuinely think it’s a great idea. My teachers were right – it’s important to gain work experience and not rush into a course you’ll end up disliking. I wrote this post to highlight my complete inability to make any life decisions. If anyone can relate to having their head buried in the sand 24/7 then please let me know.