For an Unforgettable Experience
Today’s post is something a little more serious than usual. Last year I decided to take a year out from college to start our blog, our YouTube channel and ultimately to discover what I really wanted out of life. Today I wanted to talk to you a little about that.
I have always struggled with pretty severe shyness and bouts of anxiety regarding what I wanted to do in life. After secondary school had ended, things seemed to be going pretty well and life seemed to be taking it’s course in a really positive direction for me. I had the best group of friends I ever could have asked for. I left my final year with a straight flush of A1s in my Leaving Cert and I had gotten into one of the most selective English Literature courses in the most prestigious college in Ireland. But even in spite of all this, my first year of college was an extremely challenging and tough time for me.
Being much too scared to talk to anyone or to show up to any society meetings and club activities meant that I didn’t really have all that many people around me with the same interests and passions as me. In fact, I didn’t really have all that many people around me at all.
The more I showed up to lectures, the more bored I began to feel with life. It felt that all the creative fire that I had bursting within me was being dimmed by the time consuming English essays and 18th century French poetry translations I was suddenly expected to produce. Little by little I started to lose more and more interest in my course and turning up to lectures in the morning just didn’t seem worth getting out of bed for. Nothing at the time felt right and with every day passing me by, I could feel myself disappearing deeper and deeper down the wrong path.
Eventually it got to the stage where I was so unhappy that I couldn’t let myself be complacent anymore. There is nothing more terrifying than letting life pass you by, so one day I decided I would take the day off college, go for a long walk and think from there what it was that I really felt a drive and a passion for.
In the beginning nothing was really coming to mind. I had a lot of friends studying law at the time so I considered going down that very same route a lot. But over time I realised that just because something is the right path for someone else, doesn’t mean in any way that it’s going to be the right path for me.
My true passion in life was my love for the little things that gave me comfort from my anxiety. Things like that fuck-yeah feeling of empowerment you get when you step out of the house in a killer outfit in the morning, that cosy feeling of reading a good book on a rainy day or the excitement that comes with visiting a new and interesting place. These were the things I loved the most in the world and wanted more of. Any time I saw YouTubers and bloggers doing all of these things, I wished I could be in their place; telling the world my story through fashion and taking others on adventures with me throughout my journey in life. In the end, doing this myself seemed like the only thing that was going to give me a sense of fulfilment. I was much too shy to instantly ‘put myself out there’ and dive straight into YouTube, so starting a blog and using that as my creative outlet seemed like a much better and much more enjoyable option at the time.
My blog in the beginning wasn’t great. (And it still isn’t) But at that stage, I didn’t know what it was exactly that I was going to be blogging about but I made my own silly posts anyway. By the time the site had gained some momentum with a proper design and a backlog of content ideas I couldn’t wait to bring to life, college work, 20 books a week to read for an English lit degree and the pressure of exams meant that the amount of time I had to work on this was going to be tight. And with that I decided I was not going to come back to college the following year. I wanted to find out if this was what I really wanted to do with my life and over a whole year later, I still feel that same drive, that same motivation and burning desire to work hard and share my love of fashion and my fascination with all of life’s little comforts as I did when I was still stuck behind my library desk in college.
Of course starting my blog wasn’t the only thing I realised was important to me over the course of my year out. I gained some really invaluable experiences and learned and accomplished some pretty incredible things that I didn’t even know I could do. Today I’m really happy to be able to share just some of these things with you. I would encourage everyone to take a year out of college at least once and here are my top 5 reasons why.
You Can Finally Do All Of Those Things You’ve Always Wanted To Do But Never Had Time For
This one almost goes without saying but how many times have you dreamed about starting a blog, a YouTube channel or something else crazy like learning Japanese or starting a heavy metal band, but your studies and deadlines just made that impossible? If there’s any time to start new things, a gap year is certainly the perfect opportunity. Not only will you come out of the year with a shinier CV and a cool new skill, you’ll also have the satisfaction of proving to yourself that you’re capable of accomplishing your life’s goals. After all, you’re only going to be on this planet once. You may as well make the most of it.
It’s A Chance To Earn Some Money For Yourself
With all of the spare time you’re going to have, you can actually work full days in a real job, get some real world experience and have a fatter bank account at the end of it all. If you’ve never had your own stable income before, this is a pretty valuable experience, especially when you finally get to treat yourself at the end of the month, or even travel as a result of your hard work.
It Will Give You The Opportunity To Reconnect With The Most Important Things In Life
It’s amazing the things you lose touch with between high school and college. Friends, family, even things that are as simple as taking care of yourself. A gap year helps push the reset button on life and whether you make the effort or not, the things that matter the most will become more and more apparent over time. It’s easy when you’re in school and college to feel like your test grades and your peers are the centre of the universe. A year out forces you to get out of your college bubble and realise that what actually makes life count is sourced at a much deeper level than just what’s written in your text books and what other people think about you.
This May Be The Only Time In Your Life That You Will Get This Opportunity
Think about it. How many adults are there out there who just get to decide that they’re going to ignore their day job and walk away from all of their responsibilities for the whole entire year? Pretty soon you’re going to have to enter the adult world and actually support yourself. Taking a year out will allow you to be carefree and adventurous before life starts to get serious. Because of that, it may be one of the most memorable, if not the best years of your life.
It Could Be The First Step Towards Following Your Dream and Acknowledging What You Really Want Out Of Life
This one kind of relates back to my first point. With the guidelines of school and college to pave your way through life, it can sometimes be easy to lose sight of what it is your heart really wants. Whatever it is you’ve always dreamed about doing, be it become an artist or a blogger or an actress, now is the perfect time towards creating the path towards making your dreams a success. Even if you suck in the beginning, that’s the first step to being awesome in your field later. A year out of college could help you realise what it is that you really want out of life, and better yet, it will give you the chance to pursue it.
So these were my top 5 reasons to take a year out of college. This year brought me infinitely closer to the people around me, even in spite of my shyness. Not only that, but I also got to discover what it was I really wanted to work towards in life, an opportunity I never would have had if I had been too scared to abandon college for the year. If you’re reading this and considering taking a gap year, then I’d say go for it. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do something or that you shouldn’t stray away from your path to find yourself. Have faith. You’re not going to be in college forever and this time in your life only comes once. Take a chance. You never know what you might learn, and better yet, you’ll be so surprised at what you can accomplish as long as you go forth with a little courage.