My journey to become a teacher – Gap year or no gap year?

A topic that has cropped up a few times in conversation recently, is how much everybody wants to travel the world.

When I was younger, I never really thought I’d be the travelling type.
I didn’t expect to feel independent enough to want to book myself a round-the-world plane ticket.
Now don’t get me wrong, I love my course and being at University (as you’ve all heard a million times,) but I do wonder when my time will come to explore all of the places that are on my bucket list.

gap 6

Being a teacher is, and has been for years, my biggest ambition. I got accepted into  University of Worcester straight out of sixth form and it seemed like too much of a great opportunity to defer. I guess secretly that I was a little worried that if I took a year out, I might somehow forget how to study and miss my real chance of becoming a teacher.

I’ve loved University so far and wouldn’t ever want to change the experiences that I’ve had.
But.. do I regret my decision to not take a gap year?

I do of course, envy those of my friends that had the time, the money and the bravery to take a year out after school and see the sights. I also seriously envy my best friend from back home who has just bagged herself a year studying in Hawaii. (I know right!!)

gap 1But, one of the brilliant things about having a career in teaching (as many people like to point out,) is that we do get a lovely summer break. Of course it is likely to be filled with a bit of work, but it does give me hope that there are still many summers coming up that I can spend travelling.

I wanted to travel a few years ago, but becoming a qualified teacher was my first priority. So University it was.

Little did I know at the time though, that I would in fact get to experience a bit of the travelling life, when the University offered me a scholarship to teach for a month in Madagascar, at the end of my first year. I got the best of both worlds in that sense and explored an incredible country. More can be found about my trip on my Extra Opportunities blog.

If travelling feels like the right path for you, then do it. Studying or working can always come later.
And the same goes for booking that plane ticket. Get your studying out of the way first and travel later, if that’s what you want to do. You never know, you might get lucky like me and have chances to do both at the same time!

gap 3

I guess this blog is aimed at helping those who may be wondering whether a gap year is for them or not, or for those who are in the same position as me.

My advice, if you choose to take it, is to do what feels right for you at the time.

One of the things that has become so apparent over the last few years, is how pressured we all are to grow up fast and make huge life decisions before we are ready. Decisions so big and scary that I feel like I’ve missed out on so many things already, when I’m only 20!

Thankfully though, I have realised recently that you do not have to pick one or the other.. there is time for both.

Because of this, I will continue to browse through travelling websites and brochures for many years to come, and eventually I will jump on that plane. But right now, I know that I made the right decision for me at the time.
My dream job comes first, and University iof Worcester can provide me with that.