Things I’ve learnt on my Gap Year


  1. Making cocktails, apparently my piña colada is the ‘best in the world’.
  2. Being able to remember the long complicated orders of  drunk people  who can’t remember what Carol wanted. Was it a vodka tonic or a vodka lime soda? Carol’s too far gone to remember herself, let’s be honest.
  3. Communicating with children, teaching them Maths and why they shouldn’t chew on wires and stationery. I’m giving some inspirational life lessons and helping future generations.
  4. Finding a job is bloody difficult as you’ll apply to 100 places and get a couple of interviews from places who forget to reply. When they do reply, you’ll probably forget you even applied, as you have given your CV to literally everyone. It’s like getting a message on Tinder from a guy that you forgot you swiped right on.
  5. Learning that it is possible to find parallels between job hunting and Tinder
  6. Once you bag a job, any job, the feeling of seeing figures in your bank account rise is truly beautiful.
  7. Home comforts are really special and you will miss them. Seeing university kitchens and their lack of fresh herbs was a shock. Special shoutout to Cambridge University for the hob which turns itself off every 10 minutes for safety reasons.
  8. Being able to finally make some time for myself to plough through books and making  pretty but impractical spreads in the bullet journal.
  9. Being able to make time for others too, and coming  up with some amazing birthday presents that make me feel smug.
  10. Learning about taxation and getting a rebate when HMRC doesn’t realise you’re on a minimum wage job and you’ll probably never earn £11,000 a year.
  11. Managing money, which has inadvertently, turned me into a massive cheapskate.
  12. Petrol really is as expensive as our parents say it is.
  13. Gauging traffic and complaining when your estimates about journeys are wrong. Basically, I’m a middle aged man  whose main conversation topic is motorways and carparks.
  14. Learning which friends I can depend on and which friends were only friends because we ate lunch together.
  15. Getting more comfortable with my own company and being alone
  16.  Realising that social media is a distortion of the truth. Give me a dark room, some loud music and glass bottles from the recycling and I’m sure I can recreate a club in my kitchen. We’re only seeing the highlights as no one puts up a crying selfie at 3 am whilst they’re struggling through an essay.
  17. But of course, when you do get FOMO from seeing highlights; it’s best to log out and focus on yourself.
  18. Reunions make separation from friends worthwhile as you can catch up and enlighten each other on your different lives. It isn’t the same conversation as you’re all growing and learning no matter what you do, but it does feel like you’ve never been apart.

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