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Olivia Ross Rsz 2

Olivia's Gap Year Diary – Out With the Old, in With the New

Olivia

There are so many things that I want to accomplish in this gap year, but realistically I don’t have the time to do so. Fencing, Skydiving, Canoeing, Kayaking, Swimming, Yoga, Learn sign language, Play more piano – the list of things I wish I could be doing just keeps increasing and increasing while the chances of me actually doing any of them dwindles away.

Being realistic

After my holiday ended at the beginning of October I forced myself to start looking at what I could accomplish with a proper, realistic outlook instead of the very disneyfied ‘rose tinted’ view I've usually employed. By doing this I realised that instead of focusing on the true reason I took a gap year in the first place – to learn, to achieve and to finally understand what I want to do with myself – I was completely obsessed with escaping. All of my plans revolved around getting away and leaving my problems behind, instead of dealing with them and growing.

What was more important to me? Going to France and being a chalet girl – something which has nothing do with the vague plans I do actually have of studying English. Or retaking my A Levels and actually doing well this time?

There and then, I decided to not go to France and focus on revising – on education. Honestly, it was a hard decision which involved a lot of crying (specifically in Walt Disney World where talking to my sister made me burst into a not-so-magical flurry of tears). But now I feel better. Yes it is still slightly awkward when I tell people I’m no longer going to France but all in all I feel a lot more open, more available – like I can finally do at least some of the things on my ever growing list of wishes. If it's worrying about what other people think that's influencing your decision making, I seriously advise you to stop, it really takes the weight off your shoulders.

Olivia At Disney
Don’t worry I didn’t just spend my time in Disney crying! There was lots of smiling too! 

Having fun too

Recently, I signed up for an online sign language course, something which will hopefully be a nice change to the constant cycle of revision and work I’ve been stuck in lately.

Also, as you may now, I do suffer from bad anxiety and as I don’t trust myself with tablets, it is difficult to control sometimes. My sister, however, suggested yoga, using herself as a case study she told me how it helped her with her unusually high stress levels and suggested it would help me too. So that is another new thing I am going to try, I'll let you know how it goes.

Finally two old hobbies, playing the piano and swimming, both of which I love and have been hoping to get back into - therefore I bought a keyboard and some learning books to help myself get back into piano and have recently worked out my journey to getting to and from the nearest swimming baths, hoping to start officially swimming in the near future....famous last words! 

All in all, though I might not being doing as much travelling as I initially hoped, I am happy with the plans I have set in motion at the minute.

Therefore I just wanted to say that although dreaming and wishing for things to happen is good, sometimes you need to sit down and think clearly too. There always has to be a balance between dreaming and working to get there. Furthermore, just remember that you can always change your mind, nothing is ever too late, if you made a decision at the beginning of the year that you no longer like the sound of now – you can do something about it. Remember you are taking this gap year for you, not for anyone else, you should be happy. So go be it, do and accomplish what makes you happy.