Why I’m on a Gap Year

Sometimes I forget that I am on a gap year and think of it as a holiday instead. I aim for this blog post to be a reminder for such times. While I may not remember the precise moment when I decided to take a gap year, I know it was driven by a combination of the turmoil I felt after finishing my Honours and conversations with my people. Most of the turmoil came from not being able to admit to myself that I did not want or feel ready for society’s prescribed next step, which was to get a job as a quantity surveyor. I felt that there was no way to be productive (well at least in the capitalist sense) without a job. However, the more I looked deeper the better I felt and still feel about my decision.

Here are the main reasons:

I was feeling the emotional and physical exhaustion of twenty two years of continuous school. Honours had especially sapped the little energy that was left but even then I felt guilty about my need for rest *smh*.  However this gap year is giving me the rest my being deserved and needed. Some of the ways I am resting include: reconnecting with family and friends, travelling (even though COVID-19 has put this on hold), exercise (we need to get more consistent with this Chebet) and really just being home home.

There has been a war between my passion and technical sides since 2015, I even wrote a post about it.  My passion being  gender politics & all things Afrika and my technical being construction. Due to the rigour of university life I felt that the latter was winning. I felt this gap year would be a way to bring my passion up to speed so that I could eventually make space for both to exist. I aimed to do this by getting back to creative and social development work. The progress so far has been good. I have an instagram content creation account; I am writing again (even though hesitantly); and I have joined my mother in her community functions. Going forward I would like to amp up my consistency and reading in order to fully realise this goal.

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Another reason is that I want to be intentional about building my construction career foundation. I got an internship (an almost impossible fit for international students in South Africa) through an award; where I worked part time for a year. The opportunity exposed me to the stresses and joys of the corporate world. One of my greatest take aways was that a good strong foundation goes a long way. Therefore, I want to be clear about my objectives for my first years and intentional about choosing and creating an environment that will support them. The first right step I did was having a transparent conversation with my parents about this. The second was finding a great career coach to guide me in this process. I am confident that everything will work together for good.

So yes! Those are the reasons I am back in my mum’s house and enjoying it all!