Doing a gap year makes you boring

A year out turns you into a morally superior stereotype, and everyone hates you for it

gap year oxford stereotype

A new year, a new batch of freshers, and it’s time to get the bank of cliché icebreaking questions ready.

While asking where people live and what they’re studying is really dull, the answers to one question can make you wish you’d never stepped foot in that JCR: ‘Did you take a gap year then?’

A year out from education aged 18 with too much disposable income and too little responsibility can turn even the best of us into a story-spewing, life-lesson preaching dullard with a penchant for relating everything to their “unique” gap year.

Here are some of the very worst travesties you may come across, characters who will not only make you want to break something but, more annoyingly, sometimes convince you that you’re actually less worldly and mature than them.

Don’t say we didn’t warn you.


spent his year pursuing an art foundation course in London, producing a captivating final exhibition about how the city’s architecture represents Freudian sexual desires – all drawn in charcoal he made from burning his own belongings in a statement against capitalism.

He has acquired multiple lovers across the continent that he can’t really talk about, read all of Rimbaud and Byron and likes to wind down with a bottle of red and a lot of American Spirit. That flat Dad got him in Hoxton really helped him establish a network of fellow creatives – some are saying his circle is on the path to being the next Bloomsbury Group. Watch out Virginia, Francis will soon be knocking you off the Oxford reading list.

‘I designed the shirt myself’


also known around the world under various earthly pseudonyms including Skye, Indigo and Tiger, went ‘rogue’ in India and wasn’t seen by anyone she knew for 6 months. Helen encountered a spiritual awakening during meditation in the tea hills of Munnar which she inspired children with at the orphanage she later paid to volunteer at…a heart-warming tale documented by the photos of her hugging Indian children on her literary Tumblr page: ‘A Passage To India’.

Everyone at Secret Garden Party was impressed by her new Om tattoo and glittery bindis that were actually from India and not £30 from Urban Outfitters. Her room at university hosts an array of Buddhist paraphernalia and incense for yoga which, much to Helen’s dismay, was confiscated as a fire hazard in 0th week. Poor Helen – not everyone’s learnt to value the little things.

summer is dead, and so are your flowers


was always that nice guy at school, the one who actually gave away his last piece of gum, and trusted Mum to buy his clothes.

On his gap year, Rob developed a taste for house music and used Granny’s Christmas money to buy himself some decks from eBay and get into party drugs.

Rob has since got seriously good at DJing and has a Soundcloud to prove it. Catch him in Oxford at the new night he’s set up at Carbon donning some New Balances and a trendy snapback…

traktor VIP


spent the entire year preaching how she had always wanted to take a year off and its seeming spontaneity had nothing to do with the fact she received a rejection letter last year. Sarah will entertain you with statistics of each college’s probability figures on getting in for her subject and will probably lightly gloss over how your college is ‘actually slightly easier to get into, no offence, but well done anyway!’

This year’s acceptance letter was replied to with an email asking which extra reading she could get going with beyond the list.

no one gives a shit


has the originality of a spoon and decided to work in a bar in Australia for 2 months before joining his mates in South East Asia for days split into what he liked to call the three B’s: Beach, Booze and Birds.

Highlights would include Thailand’s Full Moon Party and trying hallucinogens in Cambodia if he could remember either of them.

He does remember there was a lot of banter though, including milking a llama in exchange for a hostel room – his best snapchat ‘story’ ever. He can now truly say he has ‘done Asia’…congratulations Tom!

It was so good to get away from home for a bit

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