Stay-at-Home Gap Year - anyone else?? Watch

thestardancer
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Hello all,

I'm currently on my gap year and I'm NOT TRAVELLING ANYWHERE. Here's the story, feel free to skip this part:

I took the year because one of my AS grades wasn't up to scratch and I wanted to improve it before applying to uni - travelling was never part of my motivation. Don't get me wrong, I'd love to travel, but it wasn't my reason for gapping and it's not been one of my priorites during this year. Instead I worked loooooong hours at a job that made me want to cry for five months, then quit because I couldn't stand it any longer and got a weekend job instead. I got my place at the university I wanted. So, I've made quite a decent sum which I'm adding to with wages from the new job - not enough for anything more than a week-long package holiday if I chose to use it for travels, but a nice pot of savings to prop me up in my first year at uni. And I've been doing little things throughout the year e.g. learning to drive, OU short course, volunteering, going to the theatre lots, flying in a hot air balloon, going to sci-fi conventions - but no epic travels.

I know this isn't some kind of crime, but from the number of people who give me a sad, pitying expression when I tell them what I'm doing, you'd think I'd majorly failed at life. I stand by my choice to save instead of use my small savings for a coach tour full of OAPs, but the negativity towards those who haven't come across vast sums of money or expenses-paid trips is starting to get to me. It's kind of soul destroying to explain your plans to people only to have them pause and say "........yeah, but where are you going travelling?"

Is anyone else staying at home, by choice or otherwise? Am I seriously abnormal?

...........some moral support please?
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kerily
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I think that sounds seriously normal. I never understand the people who can afford to go travelling in their gap years, to be honest - the few people I know in real life who're doing it are either doing it by sponging off their parents or by sponging off their friends (dressing up a round-the-world jolly as charity work and demanding donations to fund what will essentially be a couple of months of drinking). There's nothing wrong with using your money for something more sensible and practical than that, and indeed, the other things you've been doing will probably stand you in better stead for life than a week on a bus to Blackpool with a load of pensioners (if that's all you could afford to do anyway).

^ I hasten to add that I have nothing against people who fund gap year travel themselves, or are legitimately volunteering to help a real charity and fundraise in the process. It's just that it's quite galling when people are all 'oh yeah, want to donate money so I can go to [insert country here]?' and then you ask what they'll be doing, having already given them a fiver, and it turns out they're going on a safari.
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Bella Occhi
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Not taking a gap year, but yours sounds perfectly fine and a good way to spend your time. There's always time for travel later when you have more money/more inclination to go!
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AminahEmm
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hi, i am in the same situation. I am currently in my last year of high school and the course i wanted to do - primary teaching - i didnt get accepted because of my higher results. So i am improving them this year (6th year) and then next year i shall apply again and do some work experience in primary schools or with children in after school clubs etc etc just as it will look good in my application.I dont see it as a disadvantage for myself as i am 17 and am 18 next year. Im really excited to do a gap year and just do some work experience. any advice?
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musicforsanity
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I did a similar gap year before starting university. I took the year out to learn how to drive and work full time as I needed the money for university. It definitely gave me good work experience too, where a couple of my friends haven't had much at all and are finding it particularly hard to get jobs. There's nothing wrong with spending your gap year that way.

I don't really understand the need to take a gap year for travelling before university when you've not really done anything yet except go to school.

I know how you feel though. When I started the job after highschool for the year the other girls I worked with kept asking why I wasn't spending the money on a holiday. Hmm...because I have actual responsibilities!

Have fun with your year!
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Inner Poise
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(Original post by thestardancer)
Hello all,

I'm currently on my gap year and I'm NOT TRAVELLING ANYWHERE. Here's the story, feel free to skip this part:

I took the year because one of my AS grades wasn't up to scratch and I wanted to improve it before applying to uni - travelling was never part of my motivation. Don't get me wrong, I'd love to travel, but it wasn't my reason for gapping and it's not been one of my priorites during this year. Instead I worked loooooong hours at a job that made me want to cry for five months, then quit because I couldn't stand it any longer and got a weekend job instead. I got my place at the university I wanted. So, I've made quite a decent sum which I'm adding to with wages from the new job - not enough for anything more than a week-long package holiday if I chose to use it for travels, but a nice pot of savings to prop me up in my first year at uni. And I've been doing little things throughout the year e.g. learning to drive, OU short course, volunteering, going to the theatre lots, flying in a hot air balloon, going to sci-fi conventions - but no epic travels.

I know this isn't some kind of crime, but from the number of people who give me a sad, pitying expression when I tell them what I'm doing, you'd think I'd majorly failed at life. I stand by my choice to save instead of use my small savings for a coach tour full of OAPs, but the negativity towards those who haven't come across vast sums of money or expenses-paid trips is starting to get to me. It's kind of soul destroying to explain your plans to people only to have them pause and say "........yeah, but where are you going travelling?"

Is anyone else staying at home, by choice or otherwise? Am I seriously abnormal?

...........some moral support please?
Hey, don't worry. I chose to take a gap year '10-11 with the aim of going to working at a US summer camp, and also because I just didn't feel ready for uni :rolleyes: so I've been at home since ... well, ever. I've been working in a shop since October and I think it's been one of the best things I've ever done. I mean I don't love it, but it gave me good experience (first job) and met more people, and a general improved understanding of the world (needed work on my social skills ).

Now I'm going to camp, and I couldn't be happier, because it's been my aim for about two years. BUT there was a strong chance I wouldn't have been placed at a camp so I came up with alternative ideas similar to yours: learning to drive, re-learning my French, doing more exercise, etc. A friend of mine, also on a gap year, is going to work right up until uni in a job he wants to do after he graduates. So long as you've done something you've enjoyed, or at least something productive, other people's opinions are completely superfluous. Which goes for most things in life

(Original post by kerily)

^ I hasten to add that I have nothing against people who fund gap year travel themselves, or are legitimately volunteering to help a real charity and fundraise in the process. It's just that it's quite galling when people are all 'oh yeah, want to donate money so I can go to [insert country here]?' and then you ask what they'll be doing, having already given them a fiver, and it turns out they're going on a safari.
+1
I know what you mean another friend of mine is going on one of those charity things and is fundraising like mad. I don't know, I suppose I always felt uneasy about asking other people for money when it would be my idea in the first place to take the trip. To be fair, it is a charity trip, but ... I may not have enough money to help me through uni afterwards, at least I'll know I paid for something I wanted all by myself :u:
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kerily
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(Original post by Inner Poise)
+1
I know what you mean another friend of mine is going on one of those charity things and is fundraising like mad. I don't know, I suppose I always felt uneasy about asking other people for money when it would be my idea in the first place to take the trip. To be fair, it is a charity trip, but ... I may not have enough money to help me through uni afterwards, at least I'll know I paid for something I wanted all by myself :u:
I don't agree, necessarily, with fundraising so you can go on a jolly to some exotic country to do charity work. Imo, countries like these need trained aid workers who understand the culture and politics of the situation, and can help local people to set up something which will last and perhaps run itself, digging them out of their problems - just sending a fresh 17-year-old over to dig a well or something for a bit, and then go on a safari, is a misuse of money and I'd rather put the same money towards funding a co-operative farm which sold Fairtrade cocoa beans or something. And if these people are so eager to do charity work, they should really think about doing it in England. I appreciate that need is greater abroad, but really, part of the reason they do it is to get a free holiday - it'd cost less, and still help people, if they went down into disadvantaged parts of their local city and helped the kids there instead. Or they should get jobs and pay for it themselves - nothing wrong with working a full-time job for 6 months to fund 3 months of travelling, if you're going to take a year out anyway.

But that's a bit off-topic really. My point is, I guess, that what the OP is doing sounds mature and responsible

(Also, I see from closet signature stalking that you're a prospective 2011 UCL'er? Me too )
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bananabrain
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(Original post by thestardancer)
Hello all,

I'm currently on my gap year and I'm NOT TRAVELLING ANYWHERE. Here's the story, feel free to skip this part:

I took the year because one of my AS grades wasn't up to scratch and I wanted to improve it before applying to uni - travelling was never part of my motivation. Don't get me wrong, I'd love to travel, but it wasn't my reason for gapping and it's not been one of my priorites during this year. Instead I worked loooooong hours at a job that made me want to cry for five months, then quit because I couldn't stand it any longer and got a weekend job instead. I got my place at the university I wanted. So, I've made quite a decent sum which I'm adding to with wages from the new job - not enough for anything more than a week-long package holiday if I chose to use it for travels, but a nice pot of savings to prop me up in my first year at uni. And I've been doing little things throughout the year e.g. learning to drive, OU short course, volunteering, going to the theatre lots, flying in a hot air balloon, going to sci-fi conventions - but no epic travels.

I know this isn't some kind of crime, but from the number of people who give me a sad, pitying expression when I tell them what I'm doing, you'd think I'd majorly failed at life. I stand by my choice to save instead of use my small savings for a coach tour full of OAPs, but the negativity towards those who haven't come across vast sums of money or expenses-paid trips is starting to get to me. It's kind of soul destroying to explain your plans to people only to have them pause and say "........yeah, but where are you going travelling?"

Is anyone else staying at home, by choice or otherwise? Am I seriously abnormal?

...........some moral support please?
You're quite normal
I'm on a stay at home gap year, I ended up deciding in August to take one because my maintenance loan wasn't very much, I had no savings and if I struggled to get a job at uni I'd effectively be living off my parents, so I decided to take one to work and save up.
It's actually not too bad, I've been bored at times but I don't regret it because it meant I could finish learning to drive, I've become so much closer to my friends here and I've been around for my nephew's first year . I'm not going travelling at all (admittedly this is due to money) but I'm not too bothered about it. I definitely don't regret my gap year
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Origami Bullets
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You're not alone - I have a friend who is also staying at home for her gap year, having failed to get a job in time to get enough money together for travelling.

I do, however, take exception to the idea that those of us who go travelling on our gap years are sponging off of parents / friends - I've funded my travels through working some very long hours in a pub + agency work. The closest I've come to sponging off my parents is not paying rent (just housekeeping) and eating the odd bit of pasta and toast - I don't really think that counts as sponging TBH!
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inksplodge
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i stayed at home too. and didn't do much. i just worked really, starting learning to drive... it was ok.
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Inner Poise
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(Original post by kerily)
I don't agree, necessarily, with fundraising so you can go on a jolly to some exotic country to do charity work. Imo, countries like these need trained aid workers who understand the culture and politics of the situation, and can help local people to set up something which will last and perhaps run itself, digging them out of their problems - just sending a fresh 17-year-old over to dig a well or something for a bit, and then go on a safari, is a misuse of money and I'd rather put the same money towards funding a co-operative farm which sold Fairtrade cocoa beans or something. And if these people are so eager to do charity work, they should really think about doing it in England. I appreciate that need is greater abroad, but really, part of the reason they do it is to get a free holiday - it'd cost less, and still help people, if they went down into disadvantaged parts of their local city and helped the kids there instead. Or they should get jobs and pay for it themselves - nothing wrong with working a full-time job for 6 months to fund 3 months of travelling, if you're going to take a year out anyway.

But that's a bit off-topic really. My point is, I guess, that what the OP is doing sounds mature and responsible

(Also, I see from closet signature stalking that you're a prospective 2011 UCL'er? Me too )
Very well put :cool: To be fair, my friend really loves volunteering and I think the charity he's going with IS focussed on sustainable development ... whatever. Personally I have used my gap year to be selfish: to focus on my own personal goals and to improve myself. But in a good way (I think).

Haha yes I applied for deferred entry to UCL when I was in Year 13. I'm really nervous about it but it seems so far away. Got to get through Camp first But it's your insurance isn't it? Which uni do you think you'll end up at? Did you not want a gap year yourself?
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kerily
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(Original post by Inner Poise)
Very well put :cool: To be fair, my friend really loves volunteering and I think the charity he's going with IS focussed on sustainable development ... whatever. Personally I have used my gap year to be selfish: to focus on my own personal goals and to improve myself. But in a good way (I think).
That sounds more constructive in the long run to be honest. There are some people who volunteer abroad for really good reasons and achieve an awful lot... but for every one of those, there's a good few people who are off for the fun of it.

Haha yes I applied for deferred entry to UCL when I was in Year 13. I'm really nervous about it but it seems so far away. Got to get through Camp first But it's your insurance isn't it? Which uni do you think you'll end up at? Did you not want a gap year yourself?
I think I'll end up at UCL - I'd be happy with either, but I'm going to aim for Cambridge knowing that I probably won't manage it I'd have loved to do a gap year, but they don't appreciate that for maths admissions because you forget everything you know about maths, and in any case it would have meant I'd have had to pay the £9k rate of fees :no:
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chambray
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I've been on a gap year - but am really really bored. I don't know anyone in London as we've just moved here. I had a job for a couple of months - it came to an end - and I've been volunteering for the last couple of months. Now I neeeeed money - I just can't seem to find a job. Anyone got any ideas ???? Any job interviews I go for seem to be for permanent staff and they don't like to hire prospective students ....
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popdrops
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I get you, OP. I was even worse..I was at home pretty much everyday studying another A-level :ashamed2: At least ya got more money now.
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MissNel
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No this seems pretty normal to me. I have been working in my gap year but in a job directly relevant to my degree and love the job so the year has flown by. I don't feel that I've missed anything by not traveling. I've had experience of the real world, have had to work hard to get people twice my age to see me as an equal colleague and have gained a valuable insight into the lives of different types of people.
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Marie-Claire
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I'm the same really I took a gap year to work and save up for uni and now have a nice pot of money for uni, which I'm hoping to keep for emergencies and maybe to help me out with living expenses after uni when I'm looking for a job (the joys of an overcrowded market...). I definitely feel more mature and have had a great time doing all the thing I wanted to finish before going to uni (acting, learning a couple of languages etc.). At times it's been boring - it certainly taught me I don't want to work in a bar the rest of my life - and I'm a little impatient now to get to uni, but I wouldn't change it for the world Especially because I'm moving away for uni, and almost certainly won't find a job in my hometown in the field I want, I've loved my extended goodbye to it, and actually feel ready to leave, whereas if I'd gone last year I probably would have been really homesick.
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gemini89
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Out of my group of friends who took gap years (four of us), I was the only one who went travelling. I would say it's not that unusual really! As long as you gained something from your year, be it funds/life experience/a break etc, then who cares?
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juzjump
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i would die to take a gap year where i did nothing and just had a chill year - would be the sickest thing ever. But i dont think its justifiable to my parents
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Tastyburger4
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I just had the same thing, I so glad its over. Felt like I was going nowhere all year
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major_mishap
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I'm on my gap year too OP, stay at home and in College still.

I've always wanted to join the Armed Forces as an Infantry Officer, and i'm thinking of the "Just in case" situations where I'd have to come out early, so i'm doing fast-track A Levels in Business and Economics to fall back on if the entire Armed Forces aspect falls through due to health/don't like the life.
Public Service degree too, so yea.....Health + Fitness needs to be at its peak!

Go for it, as long as you're happy, no-one else can judge you.
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