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  • Writer's pictureAlmeera Eman

Gap Year Real Talk with CanGap Ambassador Nazra

Updated: Jul 15, 2022

Hey everyone, welcome back to the Gap Year channel. I'm Nazra and I'm just here to help you out on your Gap Year journey! I also took a Gap Year, if you don't know who I am, I did make an intro video so you can definitely check that out.

Make sure to also subscribe to this channel so that you don't miss out on any of the Super informational and helpful content that's about to come your way. This video I wanted to kind of talk to you about having and taking courage for your Gap Year journey.

I've been on one myself, of course, and I've done a lot of unconventional things over the past few years.

Right now, I'm starting my own climate startup, which is very terrifying. I moved to LA for a bit this year, which is something that I've never done before in living alone, so I definitely know a little bit about you know, like risk taking and doing things that are unconventional.

I know that can be scary, so I'm actually. Going to drink some tea while I talk to you about this and I have my notebook as well. I kind of wrote down some notes so that I don't forget anything important that I'd like to share with you. If you wanna take a second to grab some tea, please feel free to.

By the way, this mug might have some company names on it, but that's not sponsored at all. Just to put that out there.

So taking a Gap Year, doing something unconventional. That's a lot. It's a lot. You're doing a lot, and I know that it can feel like something that, hey, you might not have even heard of before. You might have literally just been introduced to the concept of a Gap Year and didn't even know it was possible.

The first thing that I want to share is that it is actually really common and it might not be super common or heard of in your circles in Canada, but a lot of people in Europe actually do take Gap Years, and so it's not actually something that's not uncommon.

People in the world do it, and have had a lot of success going through a Gap Year. So rest assured that you were definitely not alone in this journey obviously, but that it actually isn't something that hasn't been done before and tried and tested. So that's one thing.

The second thing that I quickly want to share with you is that if you are taking a Gap Year, what I do recommend is that if you have accepted yourself to a university or college you can actually take a Gap Year from that University or College while they hold a seat for you so that you can come back next year into your program.

So you do have a little bit of a safety net when you're taking your Gap Year, and if that's an option for you, which it is for most people, I would highly recommend you know making sure that you can do that with your university and adding kind of a little layer of a safety net so that you feel comfortable taking your Gap Year and it's really just a year away from school that you're going back to, so those were feel like two really quick things that I wanted to share with you, but the third really kind of big piece of advice that I wanted to share was around ownership.

Now I know that taking and doing anything unconventional can be really scary, but the way that I look at it is that really when I was taking my Gap Year journey, I realized that I am living for myself and that my life is my own and I really, really wanted to make sure that I could do what I wanted to in the future that I was able to build the life that I wanted to build that I was working and felt passionate about the work that I did, or the moves that I was going to make over the next few years.

So even though it feels like university and college and school is a life-defining decision, taking a Gap Year really helps you make sure that you can take a step back and process that decision.

And it's also a very helpful process and thing to do to really just clear your head of being in a system and being in school for a while and really, really trying to think for yourself. It takes courage to have ownership, but I think it also makes us happier in the long term and more fulfilled when we can really take ownership over the decisions that we make in our lives.

So the first thing that I would say is, even if you are uncertain and even if you feel a little scared to be taking a Gap Year, it's not about whether it's the right or wrong decision.

It's actually just how you feel about your relationship with the decisions that you make and so kind of just being able to say I take responsibility, I take ownership and I am fully going to embrace the decision that I make is something that I highly, highly you know, recommend trying to just think about and putting yourself in that mindset of ownership and the reason for ownership, being that you, you know, want to have ownership over your life.

And really be guiding yourself in the directions that you want to, and you might not have really practiced doing that before, but this is the perfect opportunity for you to try practicing and building ownership in your life.

So if that's a concept that you resonate with then I highly recommend that you know really just try to embrace the decision that you're about to make, know that it comes with uncertainty.

Which is the next thing that I want to talk about, uncertainty is definitely everything that the Gap Year is about. It is all about uncertainty. But how I see uncertainty is that it's a place and honestly an opportunity for you to grow. And it's how I've found out over the past years every time that I've been in a scenario that's been uncertain, which is still right now, you know, like I mentioned, I'm starting a climate change company and there are a lot of uncertainties that come my way, but I've realized the most is that in the moments of uncertainties, actually what I learned a lot a lot about the world, and I learned a lot about myself.

And so if that's how you're feeling, you know if you're feeling a little uncertain and scared, know that you are probably actually about to go through an interesting experience and come out of it with a lot more learnings and a better understanding of yourself and the world.

And that can actually be something that's exciting and that's the third piece of major advice that I wanted to give to you.

Is that if you feel really, really nervous honestly, you know there are a lot of studies that you can turn nervousness into excitement.

That nervous and nervousness and excitement actually present themselves very similarly in our brains, and I don't, you know, want to definitely it's a hard thing to be doing, but I would highly encourage trying to shift your perspective, and get excited about your Gap Year and the way that you do that is, through the conversations that you have in your mind about this.

So whenever you are nervous, I'm kind of shifting that narrative into maybe I can actually be excited about this and finding reasons to be excited about it, reminding yourself why you're taking this gap, you're reminding yourself that you're going to be learning a lot, reminding yourself that it's OK to be figuring life out.

It's OK that you don't have any of the answers that you would really like to have the answers to, and that might be making you really nervous, but it can also be really exciting and knowing that if you trust yourself honestly, there is no right way to have a Gap Year. There is no right or wrong answer to some of the questions that you're probably having, It's really just about the experience you’re about to go through.

If you can think about and try to remind yourself that it doesn't actually matter all the things that you're going to do in this experience, it's that you're fully here that you're present, that you are trying, that you are about to go on a journey and are just excited to see what comes out of it and what you learn that, I think, is something that genuinely helped me in my gap here, and I know it might sound kind of simple, but also hard to do, but it's a good reminder to have, so that's something that I would definitely think a little bit about and try to get a little bit more excited about your Gap Year. If you're when you're nervous and turn that energy into some positive, exciting energy.

Last piece of advice that I would give is 2 questions that I asked myself when I was about to make some tough decisions.

One is what is my worst case scenario and really thinking about what the absolute worst case scenario is for you if you go on a Gap Year or if you make a really hard decision and often I find so that my worst case scenarios are as actually just being back where I am now and if I can start back at square one then I usually know that I'll be OK. So one is like layout, your worst case scenario, the other is try to layout your best case scenario.

What would be the coolest thing, that you can make happen for yourself that's within your control throughout your gap year.

Being able to see the opposite end of both the scenarios within your decision is something that I find is really helpful and a good exercise to go through.

The second thing is I asked myself the question of what would I regret? What would I regret doing or not doing if I were to look back at these years and to me it's often taking those risks.

It's often I would regret not betting on myself, which is really, really big. The biggest thing with doing something unconventional. Is that usually often it feels unfamiliar to what everyone else around you is doing, and we're scared of that sometimes, and sometimes it can be scary to feel kind of alone in that process to feel like you're doing something super different to you know, really feel like you're taking again an unconventional path, but the way that I look at it and the way that I often try to frame it in my head is trying to believe in myself because the most important person to believe in yourself is you.

And if you can try to really, you know, believe in yourself and bet on yourself. You'll be OK no matter what you do, so this is a great kind of experience. The discomfort at the end conventionalism to muster up courage to dig deep inside of you and say I'm going to bet on myself and I know that I'll be OK because I take ownership over this decision and I would really like to try directing myself to figuring out how I would like to live my life.

And no, at the end of the day, it's just a year. It could be just a year full of awesome things, it could be here or also, you know, going through some interesting experiences and learning a lot about yourself and dealing with some lowlights, but that's also OK!

Yeah, I hope this was helpful. I just wanted to share some quick tips with my quick thoughts on being unconventional I know that you definitely got this, so that's something that I am certain of that you definitely can do it, I hope.

Good luck on making your decision, good luck on trying to decide how to take a Gap Year.

I am going to make a video on how you can actually plan for your gap year and what you can do during your gap year. So definitely look out for that and again, make sure to subscribe to this channel. You can also check out the description box below for some free resources that offer you some advice and helpful tips and great resources to check out, so I hope that's helpful for you too.

And yeah, it was great talking to you. Enjoy your tea, I'm going to enjoy mine, I hope you took some notes maybe, and I'll see you next time. Bye catch you on the flip.

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