My (gap) year ?

I graduated from highschool in July 2012
and this is my gap year .

First things first ,  after graduation almost everyone in my year (by some sort of a miracle) knew which university or college they are going to attend . When I say they knew , I mean they were probably influenced by parents , friends or other circumstances .Because that is what’s happening in my country at the moment .  We don’t choose higher education because we want to perfect ourselves in a particular field , no .. we often go to university just because .. well just because we can . And I don’t see things like that .

Don’t get me wrong , this does not apply to everyone and I’m certainly not trying to diss my country . Simply it is what I saw , what I observed and experienced with close friends , classmates .

I don’t know if I’m the only one , but I’m quite worried . The saddest thing about my generation is that as soon as you have a different opinion , a different way of thinking or you choose to do things differently , you are a weirdo , you are not cool , not cool at all (haha) . The truth is that I rarely talk to friends from highschool . It’s strange how you can be friends with people for years and not really know anything about them .I was surprised that my opinion changed so much . But certain situations in life bring out the real you , I guess.

During my exams I started worrying about the fact that maybe something’s wrong with me and I was quite disappointed honestly . I started thinking “why can’t I just choose something like my friends did and go along with that ? I mean it seems so easy for everyone else , why can’t I do that?” . So I thought “why not ask them?” , and I did , hoping that I might get some good advice , since I’m not one of those who have every single detail of their lives planned out to perfection . Obviously we did bring up this subject a couple of times ,  but now I wanted to be straightforward and lay things out there as they are .

One of the most interesting answers I got (from a person very close to me at that time) was: “Does it really matter which university I choose ? I mean , isn’t it all about the parties , the handsome guys ? (and everything else that is not even slightly related to education whatsoever)” . I was amazed . Parents are paying high university fees .. wait , remind me again , why are they paying exactly ? For parties? For missing courses ? For failing exams ? (in the end , these are the consequences of that lifestyle) . I’m not 100% sure , but if you ask those parents , the chance of their answer being a NO is quite high . I’m not talking about just one person , I wanted to mention one example so you can understand my point a bit clearer . The reason why I am shocked is that , unfortunately , for quite a few people of my age choosing to go to uni for the wrong reasons is completely normal .  And I just can’t get to terms with that .

Anyway , after these reactions , I realized that I had the wrong friends all that time , I was hanging out with the wrong people .  I think my sudden enlightenment regarding this situation was a bit late .

I sat down , had a long discussion with my mom and since I’m lucky enough to have an AMAZING mother , she understood me and knew what I was talking about . So I decided to tell her that I want to leave the country , I want something new , I want time to get to know myself while I’m learning how to be independent , to take decisions on my own , without considering what is right or wrong in the eyes of society.

And that was one of my best decisions ever . It has been 7 months since I left home and the list of new things I have learnt is long , believe me .

One of the most important things I have learnt though , is that you always have to do what you feel . Don’t let anyone tell you what they think is right or wrong , what is accepted by society and  what is not . Who are they to decide anything that concerns you ? Be who you are . Be what you feel . And you should be happy.

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2 responses to “My (gap) year ?

  • KC

    Hi,

    My name is KC Owens, I’m a college student and I love to travel! While cruising the Internet, I found your site and really enjoyed reading your posts. I have been to countries all over Europe with just my backpack and a camera. Since I am a college student and I have significant bills, it can be difficult to find ways to travel the world. However, I have done this several times, with less than ten pounds of luggage and while on a college dime!

    I was hoping that you would allow me to write a post for your site to share my tips and tricks with your readers. I put a lot of time into my traveling, it is my biggest passion and I would love to inspire others by sharing my stories, mistakes and triumphs. I look forward to hearing from you!

    Best,

    KC Owens

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