I’m feeling super nostalgic and almost sad today and I wanted to talk about it.

I took a Gap year in 2015, and that’s what I want to talk about… Gap years.

A Gap year is defined as a year between graduating high school and beginning university/college typically spent travelling or working.

But 2015 was so much more than just time taken off school for me.

When I decided I wanted to have a gap year, I was half way through year 12 with no clue of where my future was headed. My only plan was to travel and so that’s what I chose to do. I wasn’t met with very much resistance, a few teachers told me it was a bad idea and that I should enrol anyway and some people didn’t understand why I’d choose to take a year off instead of a step forward into my career. But I had no career, I barely even had an idea for a career but I did have my Gap year and I was taking it no matter what.I don’t like the term Gap year that much and I honestly hate it when people call it ‘taking time off’ or anything along those lines because it was anything but. It wasn’t a gap between school and uni for me, it wasn’t a time off for parties and fun, it was my year. My year to travel, my year to work, my year to write and read and develop who I am as a Human Being outside of the confines of school.

I learnt more about myself and my abilities as a person in 2015 than I ever did in 13 years of school. I’m strong and brave and I can achieve anything I want if I just push myself. I can write 1,000’s of words a day and edit manuscripts, I can read books and review books and run a blog! I can travel, by myself, through England and Europe! I can make friends and lose friends and cope with family breakdowns. This year wasn’t a gap… it wasn’t a pause on real life or some kind of chance for me to be a lazy teen it was a chance for a young girl to embrace who she is and develop herself.

2015, my year, was all about finding myself and finding my path. I haven’t done that yet, it’s a lot to ask from one year, but I’m closer. I’m one step down the path less travelled by, into a world that is mine for the taking and mine in the making.

Tomorrow, the 22nd of Feb 2015, I start my first day of a Professional Writing and Editing course. It’s a step forward, a career move, that I could never have made a year ago. I’m going to school an hour from home, with people I don’t know, in a place that’s a lot busier than I’m used to but I’m going, I’m doing it and it’s all because of that year I took ‘off’.