Do you remember how hard you thought life was when you were at school? Do you remember when getting homework from four out of five lessons in a day was considered a crime against humanity, and after school detention really did feel like federal prison? I thought all of these things, and by the time I was 18 and the time came for me to escape 6th form and education, I decided I needed a well-earned break. By well-earned I of course mean unnecessary.
Hoards of 18 year olds hang up their education boots for a year after 6th form or college and take a gap year. They take it upon themselves to bear the heavy burden of doing absolutely fucking nothing for a year and delaying the inevitable step towards reality that awaits, such as uni (which is defo not in any way reality) or a part time job down the local pub.
While a bit of travelling is always encouraged by my dear self, I find it hard to come to terms with the fact I actually felt I had earned the time out; I really and truly believed that I had done my bit at the education lark and needed to sit off and get wazzled every night for a year to congratulate myself on making it to the grand old age of 18.
Now unlike most gap years, mine was especially shit. I had dreams of touring Oz in a hipster campervan and sleeping under the stars and probably marrying a wealthy Australian rugby player, but instead I spent the year working at Topshop and went to Harry Potter land for two weeks in the June before uni. Seriously, I took a whole year off from life to spend my time sorting through shitty clothing and to spend all my money on wine. I’m not saying that Harry Potter land isn’t the best place on earth – believe me it is – but there was probably a great deal more I could’ve done than boozing on Saino’s basics “table wine” and pretending to not be severely hungover in the shop changing rooms.
My point here is that while you may feel like you’re grown and you deserve some time off at 18, you probably don’t. Whether or not you plan on spending the year finding yourself amongst the monks of some Brits abroad location in southeast Asia or you just feel like giving your brain a break while simultaneously pelting it with braincell-destroying shitty alcohol, you’re basically just wasting your time. It’s not always fun going to uni being a year older than everyone else either, especially if you view anyone who is a year younger than you as a small child.
So if you’re thinking about taking a year off: don’t. You’ll end up poorer than before, and old as shit.