I’m also taking a gap year. I decided to, as I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to pursue a degree in Psychology or History, but I have applied for History this year (I didn’t defer, I needed the summer to decide) as I have discovered it is my true passion. I have so far received offers from York and Sheffield (waiting on Cambridge, Durham and Warwick 🤞). I was planning to travel this year, but I’ve decided this just wasn’t right for me, particularly as uni is so expensive, although I am going abroad somewhere in Feb. Instead, I have a German tutor, and am learning the language, I dance and am volunteering, learning to drive. I’m planning on getting a job soon. However, because I’ve applied for Cambridge I have to keep Nov and Dec free in case of the HAA and an interview, so at the moment I’m a bit stuck in limbo!
I know what you mean about seeing your friends at uni having fun, (although I am lucky in that my friends don’t post on social media much, in fact one is completely inactive, and the others are doing apprenticeship degrees, so
are at home!) But you have to understand that this year is going to be such a great experience in terms of maturing. Some of your friends may have never worked before, and taking a break (for me) was well needed. Good grades in A levels come at a cost, and I was actually very Ill at the end of A-levels- they destroyed a part of me that I want to get back this year. I don’t know whether this was the same for you, but being able to do my own thing, read as many books as I want, watch what I want etc… is so important. This is the year to find who you are without being in the constraints of a school environment. Also, learn to be happy by yourself. Initially this year, I thought of my friends often, but I’m doing so many other things that I forget about them! I’ve only FaceTimed them once since September. They will make new friends/have done, but that’s OK.
I do miss my teachers, the routine of school and seeing my friends everyday, and at the end of summer when my friends were going to uni, I tended to idolise the idea of being in school again. But the reality of it is, for me Year 13 at times was really terrible! The opportunity this year you have to do pretty much whatever you want, will not come again soon, or may never come again- when you go to uni it’s sort of constant from then onwards for a lot of your adult life. Try and do all the things you wanted to do when you were doing your A-levels that you couldn’t do. Pick up a hobby! Learning to crochet is a good one, and so is learning a language. Also, if you can, spend time with your. During A levels I was stuck in my room revising constantly, and missed out on so much quality time with them. I want to make up for this this year.
I am lucky that I have siblings who are still at my school, and teachers I am still in contact with, and I understand other people may not have this. If you want to chat more, I am absolutely happy for you to private message me.
I hope this helps. Know that I felt the same way as you initially, but learnt quickly that this year is actually very sacred!