• Aliyah Patrice

4 Things My Gap Year Taught Me

I never intended to take a gap year. I had never been introduced to that concept. In my head, my academic sequence was:

1. Graduate Highschool

2. Get into a good college

3. Graduate from that college with a GPA in good standing

4. Apply to medical school

5. Finish medical school in 4 yrs

... you get the point.

And everything was going great until number 4. Like it literally through my whole plan out the window.

But it ended up being a good thing. I had time to gain experience in other areas of my life.

It honestly doesn't feel like a year because I'll be going back to school this summer but, I wanted to share what I learned during my gap year because it has been extremely helpful to determine how I will move forward.

And hopefully, it will help you too.

1. Rest is Necessary

physically and mentally

I definitely didn't know the meaning of slow down. I was constantly looking for the next thing to do. Completing one task and moving to the other. Staying up late eventually caught up with me.

How do I know, looking back there were plenty of signs. But the most important was the apathy I had toward my assignments. I could open a new reading assignment or pdf file and seconds later decide to take a nap.

There was no in-between. I either did it or I didn't.


By Prioritizing

If I can complete an assignment in under thirty minutes then I do those first. It feels like I've completed more work in a shorter amount of time. Which is true.


Leave the larger assignments to the weekends or on days when I can dedicate the necessary time to the project.

For me, I learned that I feel more productive in the mornings because I'm more alert and awake. So now, I tend to complete my daily tasks between 8 am -2 pm. This allows me to rest in the afternoon and complete smaller tasks that don't make me feel overwhelmed.

2. Explore Other Intrest

Most people immediately think about traveling when they think about having a year off school. Which is great. But you can do so much more than travel.

I was traveling before having a gap year and honestly the amount of trips, I have taken hasn't skyrocketed.

Instead, I have been focusing on creating. Creating memories, creating better finances, creating a better future.

We are so much more than a 9-5 or remote job.

Think. If work or money wasn't an issue, what would you pursue in a heartbeat?

Now, whatever you're passionate about, pursue it in your downtime. As much or as little as you want. See if you can make it apart of your daily life.

3. Use Your Time Wisely

It called a gap year for a reason.

Whether you're out of school for six months, one year or three years. The goal is to go back when you are ready.

Use your this time to stack your resume with relevant experience.

Honing your skills as a professional will give you an edge because you've returned with practical experience, skills, and knowledge.

4. Be Confident

With all of the hobbies, life skills, independence, responsibility, work experience, and traveling that you can achieve in your year-long gap before your next academic venture you will have built confidence in your abilities.

How has your gap year shaped your perspective? Comment Below

Thanks for Reading,


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