Updated: Apr 18, 2020
Disclaimer: this all comes from my own personal experience. Bias comes only from personal experience, nothing more.
This year has taken me aboard to Argentina in the mode of a Gap Year. The definition of a Gap Year: a period, typically an academic year, taken by a student as a break between school and university or college education. This 'break' from academic study has truely been so needed. To imagine where I would be if I had not of taken this opportunity of a gap year experience in Argentina, I do not want to know. The concept of a gap year often has a bad connotation connected to it, that is that you end up doing nothing. But I think that it is quite the contrary if done right. My definition of being it right is anything that comes under the umbrella of unfamiliarity. Let me explain.
I have this philosophy that when you take everything away from oneself that is deemed as familiar, you are able to truely analyse your truth; the person that you are. In your life, you can have things entirely scream 'you': your job, your family, your friends, what you like and what you do not. All of which are a part of you. However, to discover yourself, I believe in such importance of taking any sense of familiarity away to uncover that truth. Once your familiar exterior goes, you are left solely with your interior. Nothing left that is physically visible defines the person that you are anymore. Dependance is now exclusively-based on your interior being. That is where growth occurs, in situations of change and in unfamiliarity.
In my case, coming to Argentina was completely new - I mean, to live! I had visited Buenos Aires in 2017 with my school on a trip for senior students taking Spanish (not bad for a high school trip, right?), but that was for 3 days. To live in the country for a year was definitely a different story - that is for sure. The language, the people, the food, the culture, you name it, it's different. But with that came a rejuvenating start. A different place meant an opportunity for me to be reborn in a sense. No social constrictions or stigmas of my past or of who I was supposed to be in New Zealand existed. Not that what in New Zealand is bad whatsoever, that was still me and there is no doubt about that, but when no strings are attached and when you have no expectations of others to uphold, it is somewhat a beautiful sense of clarity. You quickly begin to come to a lot of new revelations about yourself.
I cannot preach the concept of gap year enough. For the main reason being because of the clarity I found learnt through new experience. This idea of 'finding clarity' can be and is applied amongst all areas of one's life. Personally, I discovered that I did not want to be a film director or a forensic scientist (two examples of the multitude of career options that I contemplated). I found out what my calling truely was, it will take an immense amount of time as I want to open my own business but I certainly know that that is what I want to do. And I have the motivation to further my studies now, to continue them. Of which I thought that after a gap year would have virtually the opposite effect; the contrary - I would not want to continue my academic studies at all. Now, with more clarity and knowledge that came from time and space apart, I know where my heart is set.
Within the gap year experience aboard, you gain new skills and encounter experiences unlike ever before. For four months, I volunteered in Córdoba in a home for disabled adults and orphans. With that experience came such a deeper understanding of caring for others. Currently, working as an english teacher in a bilingual school and language institute, I have discovered a love for teaching. More specifically, the literal teaching part of the job, I am terrible at discipline and quite frankly despise it. With this volunteer position currently now, I am learning about the importance of education, ironically. A lot more things of course from both positions, but those are examples of things I have learnt and ones of which I am very appreciative for learning.
Quickly here is a list of other reasons why you should take a gap year: to learn a new language, to experience a different culture, to discover a hidden passion, to prepare yourself for college, to improve yourself, to live your life to the fullest, to boost possible job prospects and to break down those classroom walls of education - just to name a few!
So you what? If you happen to have the opportunity you broaden your worldly horizons, why not? Personally, I cannot recommend the concept more so. You have the availability to access all parts of the world, why not? There is such much to learn. Why not access another point in the world and access more of you too. Andrew McCarthy, an actor and travel writer says this quote that resonates with me a lot: "The further I travel, the closer I am to myself." He is right. Answers of your being lie within potential experiences held all around the world. Grab them while you can and GAP (year) it!
If you have any further questions based on this blog post or anything else in regards to this blog or personal queries, be sure to get in contact with me through this website or through the blog's instagram. Links are below:
Link for previous blog post: https://www.madein2000.com/post/09-playlist-of-my-life
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This blog will encompass the life of a 19-year-old kiwi chica. Composed of stories, advice, life lessons, worldly observations, videos and whatever else Ella's life brings to surface.
For all of this and more, read my new found blog 'Born In 2000': established on the 28th of October, 2019. Where Ella Gibson explores her life that exceeds all limitations. Publications should be expected twice a week. Take this present moment now and rock it!