Her Career: Gap Year

As I attend my last ever lectures and seminars and begin to write my final essays as a University student, I am naturally thinking forward to my future and what I want it to be like. Whilst, for some, this prospect is a terrifying and daunting black-hole-type-situation, I've somehow found myself almost worryingly calm about the whole thing. Though I'm sad that this this phase of my life is coming to an end, I feel positive and hopeful about the next phase, even though I'm not exactly sure what it will look like just yet.

(Photo credit: theidleman)

You may be thinking: "Lucky you! Nothing to worry about!" The only problem is, despite the fact that I'm not worried or concerned about what will happen the moment after I graduate in July, everyone who asks me about it seems to panic on my behalf. I won't share with you how many times in a DAY I get asked that fateful question, "So, what are you doing next year?" because I'm sure many of you feel you've heard the very same question on a constant loop for months. Understandably, my vague, unplanned, and carefree idea of what my next year will be like seems to strike fear and panic in the hearts of pretty much every friend, parent, tutor and stranger who asks. I struggle to convince them that I am, in fact, fine. The answer I've come up with, in order to swerve a detailed conversation and to fend off any undue concern? Gap Year. 

By this, I am not suggesting that I will be spending the next year "finding myself" in Thailand, but rather that I plan to literally have a "gap" in between the continuous cycles of education and work that have shaped all of my life to date. The specific details of what will fill this "gap" are still very much a work in progress, but that's not the part that's important to me right now. As far as I'm concerned, whatever I fill that time with, be it a part-time pub job, teaching or working abroad, working out what it is I ultimately want to do with my life or, ideally, a combination of all three, it will be a new and interesting experience, not to mention a much needed break from the education that has structured the last 16 years of my life. 

So, there's no need for the concerned looks when I say that I don't exactly know what the next year holds for me because, quite frankly, I can't wait!