Reasons for my Gap Year

Authored by:
Allana I.

I had a few reasons for taking a gap year:

1. I had worked very hard in high school and needed a break

2. I was interested in learning a language

3. I wanted to learn how to live on my own

but I'm not sure I really knew what I was getting into! So, here's my take on how those motivations have played out in my gap year. 

1. Classes here are difficult and long- although the material is doable, the Chinese style of teaching is to bombard the students with a lot of material and expect memorization, which method I am not used to.  I do study less than I did in high school, but it is a different kind of studying.  My gap year is a lot of work- not so much the break I was hoping for.  However, I like studying, and I'm starting to think maybe I didn't need such a big break from school in the first place!

2. I'm still interested in learning a language- that part of my gap year has fulfilled my expectations!

3. I expected independence, but I also expected a certain level of support that I haven't yet found here in Shanghai. Now that it is between semesters, I am living in an international students dorm on campus.  I have been quite busy this month (taking harp lessons, tutoring, working), but it is still difficult to fill my time when I am on campus. I am responsible for all of my meals, meetings, budget, etc.  It's definitely cool to be in complete control of my schedule.

My reasons for taking a gap year may not still be totally relevant, but I like my gap year so far! It's not quite what I was expecting, but I'm learning a lot about what I am looking for in the future. 

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