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  • Writer's pictureAlmeera Eman

5 questions to ask yourself when planning a Gap Year with CanGap Ambassador Nazra

Updated: Jul 15, 2022

Hey everyone, what's up? My name is Nazra Noushad and I'm so excited to have you here.

Welcome to the channel if you're new and if you are, you don't know who I am, I've also made an introduction video to myself on the channel that you can definitely check out.

Now, this video is on five questions that you can ask yourself to help yourself throughout your Gap Year. Now most of the videos in this channel are very actionable and there are a lot of tips and tricks to help you out throughout your Gap Year. But these five questions will allow you to give yourself the best advice you’ll receive this year.

There are questions that really help direct yourself throughout the next year.

I have personally used a lot of these questions as guiding questions for myself as I've made important pivots over the past year and it has seriously changed my life to be asking some of these series.

I would highly recommend writing down the ones that resonate with you and even taking aside like 10 to 15 minutes after this video to really try answering some of these questions either today or throughout the week.

Jumping right into it, the first question I have is around visualization. I'd like to ask myself what is my best case scenario, trying to visualize what the end of the year could look like for you is something that helps me understand what are the things that I can be doing to get to that point and that best case scenario can be completely intrinsic. It can be also completely extrinsic as well, or amounts between the two. It doesn't matter what it is, as long as it feels like your best case scenario.

So the things that can be included in that are how you'd like to feel by the end of the year, or is there a project that you would like to have finished? Or are you trying to gain a certain knowledge in a certain field and your best case scenario would have been completing a course or a YouTube series by the end of the year? Would it have been making a YouTube channel or it could also just be like feeling a certain way? Would your best case scenario be feeling more confident feeling more secure in your sense of self or even this is usually my best case scenario for a lot of things is looking back and saying I made full effort is looking back and saying I tried to do whatever it is that I wanted to do at those given moments and those given weeks and those given months and so it can be as defined as you want it to be, or it can also be as loose

I would try to think about just what does that environment internally look like for you when you are living your best case scenario from having gone through your Gap Year and that helps me kind of understand what are then the steps that I need to take to get to that best case scenario.

So that's question number one question, number two kind of helps with sometimes, I feel is the opposite effect of asking question number one.

What I find sometimes is well, is when you're thinking about your best case scenario or when you're thinking of what you could be accomplishing.

They're so goal orientated that I forget to think personally about some other you know, kind of ideas that I have circling my sphere that don't fit into the box of you know, accomplishing a goal or hitting a certain metric and so one question that I like to help myself really get out of the box and understand truly what I could want from something is asking myself. What would I regret not doing?

I have asked that question so many times and have realized that, you know, I'm really thinking about trying to get myself to a certain career point or an academic point or whatever it is.

And then the moment I asked myself like what would I have regret not doing and I look back and it's something simple as working out, often taking care of my health or painting more.

I would have regretted not going down certain rabbit holes because I love to learn and I love chasing my curiosity and I would have regretted just learning.

And I know that you know when I'm looking at my best case scenario, sometimes I miss out on that piece because going down a rabbit hole literally has no outcome, has no goal than other than I have allowed myself to just do and explore something.

And so something that I would also ask yourself along with question number one. So in tangent to and together is then also what would I regret not doing over the past year?

Now question #3 is tied to your Gap Year, but it can also be tied to just things in the long term. I know that most of us probably received this question 1000 times and especially now over the past few years is like, what do you? What do you want to be doing over the next few years, or what kind of job do you want? What role do you want to put yourself into?

And that's a really hard question to answer. It's hard for people who even know what kind of major they'd like to be studying in university or college or apprenticeship they want or what certain job experiences they want, because the serendipity factor that plays into the job experiences that you could be having the volunteer experience that you have to the people that you meet that completely kind of change that niche pathway that you could be walking on is so large that sometimes it is just like absolutely almost impossible to truly imagine what you could be doing over the next 5-10 years if you don't have a clear idea yet already.

And even if you do, I just find something that's actually more helpful for me to be asking myself so that I can always continue to direct myself in a path and use this answer to kind of create.

I'll use it for myself to help with tough decisions instead of asking “What do I want to be?'' Cut out the “What” and ask yourself instead, “Who do I want to be?”

Who do I want to be over the next year? Who do I want to be over the next five years? Who do I want to be for the next 10 years? Not what, but who? Who as a person do I want to be?

And when I started asking myself that question and understanding that perhaps it includes answers like I want to be confident I want to be authentic, I want to be taking risks, I want to be allowing myself to live freely.

Answering that question with whatever list, long or short of items of values and characteristics that you have helped me so much because then what I'm making even the smallest decisions that feel a little difficult or that kind of play into what my future could be, I take a step back and instead of just thinking of what is going to what, I am going to be able to do through that decision.

I really think about how that decision can shape me into turning into who I want to be as a person, and that helps me so much because no matter how grand, some of my goals are, I at the end of the day really want to make sure that when I am just by myself, it doesn't matter just what I have done in the world.

I just feel really great about who I've become and who I am allowing myself to become, so that resonates with you. I would also just try to answer who you want to be and you can try visualizing that within detail. I think and try writing about that in detail, and that can also change, but you can't get actually pretty you know granular with the things that you want to develop and the things that you want to keep in yourself, and the things that you want to work on yourself with. So instead of just asking what you could be doing, try to think about who you could be instead.

Question number four and five are so important. If you don't answer any of the other questions.

That's fine, don't answer them. These two questions like please, please do try to answer these for yourself.

I find that if you're taking a Gap Year, you're really trying to figure out life in general and there's just like a lot going on, and even in answering the previous three questions like, this can add pressure sometimes. Just answer these questions and be able to, you know, move through it and like, have fun and be able to get through the year and do what I want to do and I'm sure so many of you guys are like that too but they can still feel pressurizing and there are a lot of moments where all these systems, everything else that you're thinking of, all the things that you're doing just kind of doesn't matter because you still feel stuck and you still feel lost and you still feel confused and so the question that I try to answer and try to have somewhat of an understanding of is how you can be taking care of yourself.

Just answering what do I need from myself? Just gonna say it one more time. What do I need, for me?

And being able to just understand how you can be there for yourself and your happiest moments, how you can be there for yourself and your saddest moments. How you can be there for yourself when you're confused, and when you feel lonely or when you feel lost.

Just understanding, how can I be there for myself? What do I need from me? I know that there is a voice in there telling you that you need to drink more water or that you need to let yourself pay attention to how your body feels.

I don't know what that looks like for you, but I have a list of things that I know I need from myself that I don't always pay attention to and that's why I need it from myself is because something that's usually not in my sphere all the time and I need to just try to remember that those are things I need, like hydration.

I would highly recommend just trying to think of like what? What do I need for myself? How can I be there for myself and how can I just show up for me? A lot of the time that also looks like just allowing yourself to exist. Just being like no judgment. We're cool, we're just going to vibe. I’m going to allow myself to exist and that's something that's honestly helpful for myself.

Question #5, the last and final question is to understand again how you can help yourself? But also ask yourself. How can others be there for me? How can I let the people around me help me out? Even if you don't have an awesome relationship with them? Even if you guys argue and it's your family and things are hectic all the time, how can I let others be there for me?

How can I lean on the people around me that care about me and that I care about? And when I need help, what are some of the ways that they can help me and you don't have to need help right now to think about that question or see what you would like you know, just trying to slowly understand, do you just really need sometimes your friends to listen or to offer you advice or a hug or a fun evening out or a quick FaceTime.

Just you know, like how can the people around can be there for you as you are trying to be there for yourself because it's a hard role to just try to manage everything that you're about to manage so don't feel you know ashamed to think about how you can lean on the people around you because I'm sure that you would be fine with your friends also trying to get some moments of support from you too.

So I think the best thing to do is just actually try to think about that actively and allow yourself to then when you are ready to get a hug or want a ring of FaceTime or have an evening out, you know that you are allowing yourself to reach out to the people around you to help you out a little as well.

Those were the five questions that I had for you. I hope they're helpful. I would again highly actually recommend, just like sitting down writing them out and then actually just thinking about it and trying to answer what that looks like for you.

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