You took a gap year? Congratulations and shut up

‘On my gap yah…’

| UPDATED gap year gap year stories students university

You finished school. You Instagrammed a photo of your aeroplane tickets. You checked in at the airport.

There’s only one more thing to do: Go and live everyday as if it were your last (before you start uni or your gruelling 9-5 job come next September).

Now you’re back, you can’t wait to spend every minute of the rest of your life telling everyone who will listen about how you got diarrhoea from eating local cuisine or, on the opposite end of the gap-year-scale, how you went skydiving.

You really believe it’s changed you forever.

Off on your jollies.

Off on your jollies.

Whether you planned it all out, went with an organisation, or just winged it, remember you’ve just done what 2.5 million other students have done this year.

There’s no doubt that it was amazing, so amazing in fact, that you want to tell everyone you meet all about it…

You probably shouldn’t dangle your legs over a train track.

You probably shouldn’t dangle your legs over a train track.

Now, it’s great hearing about your travels and most people are genuinely interested in the experiences you had – to an extent.

Yes, it makes a nice conversation starter in Freshers’, but when it gets to exam week in December nobody could care less.

Here’s why:

1) You say you need to ‘find yourself’. Do you? Surely finding yourself would come naturally through experiencing hardships.

You’ll probably find more of yourself when you return to the grim UK and have to get on with life.

2) You will return as a connoisseur of every type of edible seed in the eastern world, and never pass up an opportunity to tell the rest of us how healthy you’re being.

3) You will have changed your name to a spice to sound mysterious and exotic, for example, Saffron. Or an ancient indigenous tribe elder will have thrown you a naming ceremony on the summer solstice and now you are known only as Hope Song.

4) You will return with the word “destiny” tattooed in Arabic on the back of your neck, symbolising your love of life and adventure, and as a reminder of how you spent a year living on the edge (that your parents probably paid for).

5) You will wear trousers that Aladdin would be jealous of, in a bold statement that broadcasts your individuality.

Justin Bieber wears harem pants too.

Justin Bieber wears harem pants too.

Sure, gap years are great, but no one wants to hear the same stories about how spiritual you are for going to Asia – alright, who hasn’t been?

Unless you built a school or actually helped local people in a World Challenge-like scenario, you’ve just gone on holiday for a full year.

But wherever you stand on the gap-year debate, it’s over now. You’re about to partake in Freshers’ 2014 (the second best moment of your life). So have fun, and shut up about it by October.