Nepal | December 05, 2019

I am taking a gap year


Animesh S. Basnet

Yes, every social gathering of mine somehow ends with me uttering these words to my relatives. It would have been fine if they thought that I was really taking a break from education, but somehow they think I failed my A levels or that I was applying for a university abroad. To uncover the doubts from my readers, I graduated from high school with satisfactory grades.

So why did I decide on a gap year after high school? Moreover, should you consider taking one?

First, a gap year is really a year to yourself, a celebration to the years that you have spent in academia. You have the utmost power on how you wish to spend it.

But here is the catch – as astounding as it may sound, it is actually a race against time. Our life spans barely 80 years. Therefore, a year out of your life needs to have great value. As a result, you have to decide whether you really want to take a gap year or not.

You normally study a subject because you enjoy it, or because of a parent’s expectation or for the sake of studying. During the gap year, you have the opportunity to tinker with new ones, sprinting from your never changing pursuit of science to a short detour of non-science or vice versa. Read the papers of renowned scientists or learn what the VAT really is. Or
perhaps, develop a habit of reading books. Think big, take the course you have always wanted to, whether it is a guitar lesson or a course on graphic designing.

Most would agree that a gap year means interning for a job for your resume. And most find a place to work and spend the hours there. While it is important that you work diligently, it is also important that you enjoy it. If an internship isn’t your thing, then try a hand in volunteering. The future is not predictable, nor should your experiences be.

Here’s the part that you have been waiting – having fun during the gap year. A gap year is a perfect opportunity to travel to a new place, paraglide or bungee jump to conquer your fear of heights, dive deep into creativity and launch your first show, and eat the Korean food you never had time for.  To be honest, a gap year for me has been filled with constant highs, achievements and failures. However, it has been an important decision of my life that I cherish the most.

A version of this article appears in print on February 26, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.

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