Taking a Gap Year – Lessons I have learnt
My gap Year was not only a break after school but also an important opportunity to come across numerous important experiences for a lifetime. Not only was I able to build my very own android app, I also ended up learning some very important life lessons as I travelled to different parts of the world where I had the chance to meet diverse individuals many of whom ended up influencing me significantly. Moreover, after researching universities and looking up their alumni I have understood one thing: our passion is greater than any professional or undergraduate degree in the world. If we have the zeal no target is impossible to achieve. Following are some of the most important lessons I learnt during my gap year which perhaps approximately 14 years of schooling could not teach me.
- With confidence one can overcome great fears: On one of my flights to Abu Dhabi, I was astonished when one of my co-passengers with a smile said that she was going for a bypass surgery. I was amazed at how confident my grand-ma like co passenger was! She also seemed very excited to meet her daughter after a long time. This short meeting left a huge impact and taught me the importance of being confident and looking at life positively, thus inspiring me to face my challenges fearlessly.
- Mistakes should be understood and analyzed in detail: There are times when I think about my mistakes. What went wrong? Was I not focussed enough? While building my android app- iDocare, I faced several challenges. I used to sit 9 hours at a stretch in a day decoding and one small typo would create a huge bug in the program. Similarly, in life, regardless of the magnitude of our mistakes, it is pertinent to understand and detect them properly and on time.
- Managing time practically: There are various articles on time management to balance academic as well as co-curricular activities. During my year off, I have become accustomed to managing my time between multiple tasks. From revising my research paper and traveling abroad to writing my college essays. Balancing sports with academics is nothing in front of managing real life tasks along with college/academic work. Be scrupulous about your mistakes.
- We need to present ourselves with challenging opportunities to explore our potential: Getting involved in classroom teachings, completing assignments on time, planning out my projects etc. I never had the time to explore my potential to its utmost extent. While pursuing IB Diploma, there were quite a few opportunities but I still felt I could do something more. Amazingly in the last four months with three of my research papers published in International Journals I have unravelled the researcher in me. On the other hand, as I learnt more about apps it cultivated in me a desire to build my own android app, an app that would help a large section of society. With the help of online courses, videos on ‘building an android app’, I built iDocare, an app that provides instant medical consultation services 24/7 by connecting doctors with patients in countries with poor or no healthcare services.
- We must always focus on positive things in life: All of us are faced with problems and as usual most of us have a tendency to fixate on our problems. Try noticing each and every happy moment in your life, I am sure you will lead a better life. When we dwell too much on our problems, we forget to enjoy and cherish the positive aspects of our life.
- Doing the right thing at the right time is extremely important: Regardless of it being your college application, homework, assignment, project etc. Everything has a time and it is this timeline which should not be ignored.
In conclusion I would say that this year was a chance to realize the importance of my school years, what it has taught me and to look forward excitedly to my academic and professional years that lie ahead of me. While many consider a ‘gap year’ a waste of time, or perhaps an unnecessary break after high school, for me it has been a much needed eye opener.
About the Author
Priyanka Mishra -from TISB, Bangalore, is taking a gap year to explore her interests and herself. She has published 3 research papers and is excited to start college in the Fall. She already has many college offers to choose from. She is an Ivy Aspire student