This is a follow-up post of I Dropped Out of Uni, published on THHP on the 30th of November 2016.
At the same period a year ago, I took the decision to cease studying for a year. I had no idea what was going to happen next, how my parents were going to react or if I’d even survive secluding myself from a place where all young people my age were socializing.
Flash forward six months later. I did it. I survived and I came to realize that this was the best decision of my life. This year, in fact, has been the best year of my life.
In an eight-month timeframe, I have come to learn countless lessons from life. Instead of spending just another year sitting in a lecture hall, wondering what I’d do, I actually got to live. This last sentence must sound utterly odd to some, yet it is the best way for me to describe what I had been feeling for my entire life until now. In eighteen years, I had always felt like I was spending my life overthinking, day-dreaming or just living a plain routine-based life rarely electrified by excitement. I was merely observing everyone else moving on with their life, simply living, achieving great things and forging relationships whilst I was stuck. Indeed, stuck has always been a word I could strongly relate to.
This year off has taught me so much more than textbooks could ever have. I so badly needed to grow as a person, to shamelessly acknowledge the notions I was clearly missing out on. I needed this break. Simon Cohen, inspiring being and host of TedxTeen London 2017, to whom I addressed a letter after the event, thoughtfully replied to me with the following words:
« I hope the rest of your gap year goes well. I am reminded that most wisdom and beauty lies in the gaps in our lives, rather than the most structured parts. »
I feel those words. I love those words. I do connect with them so intensely.
Dropping out was the best decision I could ever take, after choosing to go live in a hostel abroad. I needed a place like this. All the time I had previously spent withdrawing myself from people in my teens, I had the amazing opportunity to make up for lost time. And this made me feel good. I found a home. I would never say that this experience has been only fun and games, because nothing could ever be.
It has been my class of life. I could now never look back on myself without thinking of how much I evolved as a human being. My discourse seems to sound so cliché and redundant, but I’m speaking my heart.
I’ve poured my whole heart into making my dream come true. Watching some travel Youtubers’ videos, I was dreaming of one day being able to live a similar experience, in my own unique way. And it did happen. I have become a whole new person, took the leap, did things I never thought myself capable of, discovered what living meant and tried to live fully, still trying to this day, hopefully getting better at it.
I hope that this doesn’t sound like another lame and repetitive pep talk. Think of it from another perspective, afar from the very self-centered tale of my boring life. You can lead the way however you wish. You can take your whole life to another level. You can take control of your fears and start living your dreams. There are so many things you can do today, at the very same time you find yourself reading this. Take it easy but have faith. You can take control of an unfortunate freshman year. You have the power to make that unplanned gap year the very best of your young life.
When I wrote to Damon and Jo, these two wonderfully encouraging travel Youtubers, a few months back, I received an answer with the following sentence from Jo and as I recall it now, I realize what huge of a smile I’m flashing, although they didn’t truly echoed something powerful at the time:
« Love the fact you’re taking a gap year, you’ll come back a changed woman! »
But yes! How truthful were her words and will long remain.
Go live as you want, just forget the naysayers.
On a side note, lately I have come upon the impression that I didn’t genuinely enjoy spending so much time working on this blog. I’ve always loved writing and always will. Nevertheless, as much as the saying explains that we have to live in order to write, I still can feel the struggle to put up blog posts that I am actually proud of. The lack of ideas and the strong self-interest reflected in a loads of my recent articles have left me unsatisfied. I have become someone new, and possibly someone tired of unceasingly contemplating about herself in the open space. I feel like I have not shown the very best parts of my writing, however proud I am of the honesty I have gained, and yet also feel like I’ve explored all of the aspects that could possibly be tackled on such a blog. I am looking for something more, something wider than myself and more meaningful than the triviality of my daily experiences and discoveries. So this might well soon be the end of the High-Heeled Papergirl. I do not want to declare it as closed yet, as I have for now absolutely no idea where to head to now. I am not willing to escape from the blogging world, I rely a lot on sharing my writings with people and I know I can get the best from interacting with the ones who read them. I just don’t know what directions I’m willing to pursue and what’s the best way for me to thrive on the blogosphere. I’d be more than happy to hear what you’d see me write in the future.]