What is the best way to Spend a Gap Year before going to University

It seems to me that the best way to spend a gap year is probably NOT the way that I am spending my gap year.

So there I am, doing my university application in the midst of my final year, about the same time I am weighed down with about ten thousand tonnes of coursework flying in every possible direction. I’ve chosen the course, chosen the university, and it is predicted that I will get the grades to get into said university. So that’s fine. And I’m thinking about what I’ve heard. That universities tend to prefer gap year students, they have had more of a chance to gain some independence, whatever they have been doing, that course related experience is the best kind to have. So it seems natural to me that this is the option I should take. It shouldn’t be too hard, I can arrange something before I finish my exams, I will be ready to go for a year. I am thinking of all the money I shall be earning and all the freedom I will have after the constrictive chained-to-my-desk type thing that has been going on. I think how nice it will be to be able to go out and see my friends and be able to afford it for ONCE.

Now, I don’t know what on earth possessed me to think all of that. Well, I do. I was overloaded by coursework, I was not thinking straight and I just wanted a break. So now I have this so-called break. This is what happened. School got so insane that I didn’t have time to organise a nice, fulfilling and well paid job to start in the summer. I had the best summer, going to parties, doing nothing and the such, but once my friends went to university I realised I should probably get a job. So, I applied. It took me three weeks and I ended up a catering assistant. Very fitting for my university course in English Literature. Cappuccino art and washing up will be earning me extra credit, I’m sure. And as for my friends..Everything changed, and it wasn’t quite the epic party I expected it to be. I do not go out and drink and have fun often, because now I have bills, because now I have work. My manager is horrendous which doesn’t help. Would she let me have my birthday off? No she would not. I know I can do better than my job, but it’s infuriating, because I don’t have a choice, the time…is up. I need the money so I can do SOMETHING. I feel as if my intellect is slowly dying from all the days I spend chopping tomatoes into quarters, and thinking about my friends who went to New Zealand or Cambodia for the year, people who did worthwhile things for themselves. I am seriously bored of my life. Maybe catering is made for some people, but I have had quite enough of it.

So, maybe working is the best way to spend the year if you want to be convinced that university is a good idea, but if you already know this and are just desiring a change of scenery, I would advise doing something genuinely rewarding, something that seems like a risk perhaps. Thinking about it, I would much rather have taken that risk than to be dreading the sheer monotony of going into work and staring blankly into the middle distance…It’s just the biggest and the most soul consuming waste of time.