Monday, August 18, 2014

My Gap Year(s) Experience

Hello there. I wanted to post something a little different today because a big change is waiting for me. As of September 2014, I will be a law student at University of Zurich and I'm really nervous and excited at the same time. I wanted to make this post to talk about the two years I've spent travelling and working since I finished high school in 2012.

My original plan was to get a job after graduation for about half a year and then spend three months abroad to improve my English and then start University in September 2014. Of course, nothing happened according to plan. The first problem I encountered was that at the age of 17, it was quite hard to find a job for just half a year, having no work experience whatsoever. So after a month or so of unsuccessfully trying to find somewhere to work (preferably in a hotel), I changed my plans a little. I decided to earn money later and travel first. Fortunately, my parents were able to lend me the money to pay for my three month trip to Vancouver in the fall of 2013. I had wanted to wait with traveling until the handball season ended in spring 2014 so that I wouldn't miss any games that season. But unfortunately I had injured my shoulder in our last pre-season match and would miss a great part of the season anyway, so I thought, why not let my shoulder heal abroad?

So that's what I did. I (rather spontaneously) booked a three month stay in beautiful Vancouver from September to December 2013. I really liked Vancouver and had the loveliest host family. Even so, I was glad to see my family, friends and most especially my boyfriend again after the twelve weeks were over. So after that it got a little more serious: I needed a job! Somehow, I had to pay off my stay in Vancouver but at the time I didn't know what I wanted to do with my life at all. The registration deadline for University (April) wasn't far off at all and I had no idea what I wanted to study. So I decided to take my time with that decision and focus on finding a job to maybe get some inspiration as to what I wanted to do later. Thanks to my Vancouver experience and the English certificate I got there, I was able to get a job at an international law firm as an assistant.

So, since April 2013, I've been working in my first real job. While I never thought this was the most interesting job that I wanted to carry on doing for the rest of my life or where I could realize my full potential, I absolutely loved working there. I learned so much and experienced for the first time what it meant to have a full-time job. Overall, it was the perfect opportunity for me. I can't think of anything better that I could've done; after all I was only a high school student with no work experience. I found some amazing friends in the office which has made me love my job even more. I really can't believe how lucky I was in getting this job: I met amazing people, got a whole deal more independent by earning my own money, learned so much in general and, most of all, I got an inspiration for what I wanted to study.

Because it really was the only thing I could imagine myself doing, I decided to go for it and study law. Now, after one and a half years as a full-time lawyer's assistant, I'm going to be a student again. Luckily, I can still work at the firm part-time and do not have to give up my financial independence completely. I'm really excited for this new chapter in my life and can't wait to see what the future holds.

I hope you enjoyed this a little different type of post. I definitely enjoyed writing about my two gap years and thinking back now, I realize again what a great time I had and how quickly time has passed. I feel like graduation was only a few days ago and now I'm already starting University in a few weeks!