It’s weird, I know, an inconsistency of the language used in this blog made it even weird. But, I’m trying my best in a way to provide inspiring stories and stuff. Haha. This article is mainly about the story of a friend who took a gap year before entering university. I know that many high school students couldn’t make it to university for some reasons. It happened to me roughly five years ago, it was tough, but I managed to deal with it. Including on convincing my parents that everything is gonna be okay for a year ahead. There’s no time to regret over the failures, I took my own decision to put off my higher education because I knew that I would learn a lot!
Lately, I had a small talk with two erasmus girls at the sunny afternoon here in Porto. One of which had an amazing experience during her gap year. Her name is Agnė Romeikaitė, a Lithuanian girl, studying in the same faculty as mine (Faculty of Science University of Porto). To provide another perspective of gap year, she willingly shared her story to me on how she could turn into a new better person. Not only about making friends, learning new language, but also building personal skills on daily basis.
Story from Agnė Romeikaitė:
“So I spend my gap year in France. It was a small community of 32 people from all over the world (10 different countries: Canada, Ethiopia, Viet Nam, Argentina, Benin, Lithuania, Belgium, France, Spain and Portugal). Basically, the aim of that year was to strenghten our personalities, build a team and work together.
We were living in the mountains and surrounded by the nature, really isolated from big cities. For every day services (food preparing, cleaning, washing clothes, etc.) we were divided by smaller groups. Every 3 months the groups were re-built with different people, so during the year we had an opportunity to work with everyone and to get know each other better.
Also, 4 days per week we had courses (given by people from exterior) about different things such as psychology, bioethics, team building, etc. it was really useful, because every month we were going to some volunteering activities in different places: schools, kindergardens, hospitals, retirement houses for old people, visiting lonely people at their home, helping local people with more physical works (for example, one time we were harvesting potatoes )
Personally, I spent a big part of time in retirement houses, visiting old people in their rooms. I was so touched how differently they are dealing with this place to live! Some of them were feeling so lonely, it was really sad to hear that their own children comes just a few times per year because ”they are busy”.
Some of them are sick, so they suffer physically and psychologically both – all they need it’s just to talk with someone not about their sickness, but about very simple things in life – that’s almost impossible with nurses, who have to take care of such quantity of people, there’s lack of time for it.
Some elderly were really communicative and open, they shared the most interesting stories of their life and were interested what’s happening in the world now, out of this building they are. All in all, I was impressed by these people, how they are ”forgotten” today, and that’s really actual nowadays, because every one of us could be at their place later in life.”
If you are curious about my gap year experience, you may read my stories below (use google translate if you don’t understand Indonesian :p)
There are many things you could do during your gap year. Don’t worry, I have other inspiring stories as well, so keep following my blog’s updates!