How To Not Waste Your Gap Year

     In about 3 weeks I'm leaving for New Zealand and then to Thailand after that. The trip should be fun but to tell the truth, I'm disappointed. This is the first adventure of my gap year and summer is almost upon us. I had an entire year to do whatever I wanted and I didn't take advantage of it. Now that my year is winding down I'm realizing all of the fun things I could have done. I could have done a road trip, I could have backpacked across the country or through foreign ones, even getting a real job would have been better than what I did. When people ask what I did on my gap year so far I get to say that I did absolutely nothing. At first this was fine, I needed some time to decompress so I didn't feel bad about hanging around for a while, but then it got sad. I felt like I was wasting my time and every time someone asked what I have done so far I didn't want to admit it. as I got closer to my New Zealand trip I didn't think I would have time to squeeze anything in between so I just decided to wait it out. That was a mistake. If you plan on taking a gap year, here's how to not feel like you wasted your time. 

  1. Have fun during the summer after high school but don't linger too long. When your friends leave for college, find somewhere to go about the same time, get out of your town. Don't make yourself feel like you are getting left behind. I made this mistake and it sucked. 
  2. Make friends that aren't in college. Whether it's other gap year students or just kids that don't plan on ever going to college, befriend them. I had plenty of friends like this and I didn't utilize them and I regret it. 
  3. Don't wait for the perfect opportunity, if one comes up, take it, even if you think a better one could come soon. I got offered a spot on a sponsored road trip and delayed my answer because I was waiting to hear back form another opportunity and I ended up not being able to do either. Seize the moment and go for it.
  4. Don't worry about being alone. If you can't find anyone to backpack with or travel, do it alone. Don't let your friends weigh you down. 
  5. Lastly, just do it. Get the hell out of your hometown and get the hell out of your parents house.

Please don't fuck up as hard as I did. Thankfully I have something to do coming up but I still feel like I wasted a lot of time. Don't make the same mistakes I did. Have fun, And enjoy the freedom.