My First Gap Year

Not knowing what I wanted to do career wise left me really stuck for a long time. I flicked through career ideas daily. One minute an architect the next a wedding planner. Literally every job under the sun, you name I thought it. My mum even gave me a career book that listed all the careers in the world. Honestly, I only looked at the ones with amazing salaries. Sure I can be a stock broker, why not? I was pushed to finally apply to university by my head of sixth form, to study an art and design degree. I went to all the interviews, looked around campuses etc. It just wasn’t for me! I didn’t like the idea of being so deeply in debt at the end of it, with possibly no interest in what I was about to start studying. So I dropped the idea and instead applied to a local college for a foundation degree in art and design. I was able to get a conditional place, and therefore dropped the Uni idea for good.

However…

After a disappointing results day, I decided not to do the foundation degree in art and design and took a year out of education. I was able to get full time hours in a local restaurant throughout winter, at least I was saving money, working an average 35 hour week. I loved not having to worry about writing essays and deadlines and for the first month or so it was nice. Although I learnt pretty quickly how boring and miserable life can be in full time work. I still feel this way. Working full time in hospitality really gives you the kick up the bum you need to get your life back on track. Trust me. People constantly being rude and working long hours on your feet all day is enough to make anyone cave.

My first Gap year has been an experience, even if all I have done is work. It has taught me that having a job you love will make the day go quicker. There are days where I love my job and others where I hate it. You meet some interesting characters who have great stories to tell, some of the nicest people you’ll ever meet, but it’s surprising how rude people can be. It should be national service to work in the hospitality industry, it would make people a lot appreciative. There are days where I love what I do. I often get people complimenting how well I work, or how helpful I was and It’s nice to feel appreciated, I am a human not a machine. This experience has really showed me what a little gratitude can do for some people. There have been times when I’ve had a super stressful or miserable day, but there is always someone who has a little gratitude for you. It’s very heart-warming. It takes a lot of energy to be shouted at or complained too. Don’t get me wrong if you have a problem please say something, but in a constructive way.

It took me a while to realise that working with children was something I would love to do full time, they constantly surprise you with funny comments, and you get to help them learn and discover new things. I had done a week of work experience in a primary school, although nearly all of the teachers said don’t do it. By the end of the week I loved it, getting to know everyone’s individual little personality, and being considered a huge help. It was a very rewarding week. By March time I knew this was what I wanted to do and the idea stuck. The six weeks off at summer, no working Bank holidays, off for Christmas. What could be better? The best thing for me was the opportunity to move countries, children are always going to need an education, speaking the world’s most popular language can only be a benefit.

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