My first results day was actually in 2012. I had an offer to study Geology at UCL. I was so sure that I’d get in that I thought there was no need for a back up plan. Alas, I missed my offer.
My heart sank. I didn’t know what to do. I had an insurance choice, but I didn’t really want to go there. I didn’t want to go through clearing either– I was so unbelievably stubborn! Luckily my parents and friends were very supportive. They reminded me that it was not the end of the world, because at the time it seemed like the MOST important thing in my life. Looking back, it was so silly of me to even worry about it!
My decision to take a gap year was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I went to India for three months, had an internship at an environmental NGO in Belgium, and another internship at an indie film production house. I learned so many more things in that one year than I thought possible! I got to know myself so much better, I had a lot of time to think and reflect, and I got to travel. Not a single day wasted. And I didn’t even plan any of this before results day! There are opportunities everywhere, all you need to do is ask. Talk to people. There is a lot that can be done in a year. Why I have ever thought that it would be a waste of time, I have no idea. I would recommend it to anyone without a doubt.
During my gap year I changed my mind about a lot of things. One thing didn’t change though: I still wanted to go to university. I guess that’s how you know if you really want something; when you’ve given yourself some time to think about it, then forget about it, and when you come back you still want it. I still wanted to be in London, but I didn’t want to do Geology anymore. So I applied to QMUL, the only London university that offers Environmental Science. I retook some of my exams over the summer of 2013 and waited for results day to come (again). Only this time I wasn’t so worried.
And now here I am. A soon-to-be second year student at QMUL who looks forward to what the future has to offer. I cannot imagine how different things would be had I not gone to QMUL. The friendships I have made, the places I have seen, the experiences I have had– I would not have them any other way. Sounds a bit cliche, I know, but that is the truth. I wish I could do that Vulcan mind-meld thing that Spock does so you guys can see (and feel) for yourself how great my first year was.
I shall leave you with this quote:
“Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.”
Good luck, I hope to see you all in September.