meganatkinsonslife

Posts by this author:

How to Spend It Pinterest.jpg

  1. Take time to get things you’ve been meaning to do done. This can be short term as well as long term. Get all the errands and miscellaneous jobs that you’ve been putting off done, and then move onto more long term projects you haven’t been able to do during education such as driving lessons, or, in my case, a toe operation (lovely, I know).
  2. Travel. This is probably the most popular way to spend a gap year and the way I hope to spend some of mine. You’ll never have such little responsibility as you do during a gap year, so take advantage of your young, bill free life and book a bucket list trip.
  3. Volunteer. Theres so many gap year volunteer programmes in far flung destinations; you could work with elephants in Thailand, turtles in Bali or volunteer in your local area if you’re more of a home bird. Volunteer work in your chosen field would be a bonus, but volunteer work of any kind will always look good on your CV.
  4. Gain a new skill/qualification. Whether it be skiing, scuba diving or anything in-between, a gap year gives you a fantastic opportunity to complete a course you may not get the chance to do during your day to day life.
  5. Start a new project/ challenge. You could set up a blog, start a Youtube channel or write a book; anything that you can work on for an extended period of time and really give time and energy to. This would work even better if the progress was measurable e.g. Setting up a blog from scratch and reaching X amount of page views by the end of the year, so you have something to constantly work towards and look back on.
  6. Work (retail/customer service). A gap year is a great opportunity to build up your savings and get some work experience, meaning you’ll be financially prepared for whatever opportunities come your way, whether that be university or relocating for a job, and prepared to enter the world of work when the opportunity arises to pursue your chosen career.
  7. Work (your chosen field). Taking a local job in retail or customer service can be a great way to build up savings, but a whole year out means you could pursue work experience that may be unpaid and/or far away but relates to your future career goal. If the work is unpaid or you have to travel, you could consider getting a retail job first and using your savings to support yourself whilst on work experience in your chosen field.
  8. Explore a completely different field. You could use your year to try out something completely different to the subjects you’ve been studying but have always wanted to have a go at. For example, I want to study film at university but I’m looking into dolphin training programmes for my gap year as its something I’ve always wanted to do but didn’t study for at sixth form. You never know, exploring a different field might completely change your mind about your future career!
  9. Reinvent yourself. I think we’ve all been through phases where we want to get a whole new wardrobe, redecorate our whole house, revamp our social medias and take up a new hobby for a completely fresh start. Since you have a whole year, you can really take time to figure out who you are/who you want to be/how to want to present yourself and act on those Pinterest goals boards you’ve been making.
  10. Let fate decide. Be open to new opportunities and take ones you wouldn’t usually; they might lead you somewhere unexpected and make your gap year the best year of your life.

 

Making the decision Pinterest.jpgToday were talking about making the big decision to take a gap year. The decision to take mine was made quite spontaneously, so I’m sharing with you three basic steps to make yours earlier than I did.

When To Make The Decision

I would suggest thinking about a gap year at the same time as you’re applying for university. If you know a gap year is a possibility for you, consider this when selecting your university choices. Make sure the institution you want to go to has an option to defer, and if it doesn’t be aware that you’ll have to reapply during your gap year. If you start to seriously consider a gap year after applying to university like I did, don’t make the mistake I did of completely throwing away university all together. After deciding I wanted to take a gap year I didn’t go to any of my university interviews and figured that if I did change my mind there was always clearing. If I could go back I’d keep my options more open, but I do believe strongly in fate working things out for you so don’t stress to much if you feel like you’ve made the wrong decision at the wrong time.

What To Consider

Its worth considering what you actually want to get out of the year. Do you want to travel? Volunteer? Work and save up? Even if you only have a vague idea, make sure whatever you plan to do will be worth a year of your life. My last post about gap year pros and cons should be a good start to consider what there is to gain from a year out and if its right for you.

Asking For Help

You might think you’re 100% set on what you want to do, whether that be a gap year or university, but sometimes being in your own little bubble of certainty means you can miss out on an amazing opportunity. Ask your friends and family for advice on what they think you could get out of each option; they might give you a reason to take a gap year you’d never even thought of. Just remember, its ultimately your decision, so take other people’s advice on board but never let them decide for you.

If you’ve just got your results and you’re considering taking a gap year, I hope this post gives you a good start to make the big decision. If you missed the first instalment of my gap year mini series you can catch up here, there’ll be another post coming on Monday 6pm! Megan x

Are you enjoying the mini series so far? What else would you like to see me do a mini series on?

 

 

 

Pros and Cons Pinterest.jpgTaking a gap year can be a BIG decision. Its a whole 365 days of your life that could change you as a person and the direction you end up going in. So, I’ve decided to do a gap year mini series over the next two weeks for anyone struggling to make up their mind. I’ll be taking you through the decision process, planning, spending your year and sharing the things I wish I’d done before making the big choice!

Lets start with the pros and cons. Even if a year out seems like a daunting prospect, its important to realise all the good things that could come out of it…

Pros

  • A break from classrooms and routines. For your whole school life you’re expected to work 9am-3pm, you live your life by half terms and everything is really just one big run up to the six weeks of summer. The mentality of ‘just got to get through the next two weeks then I have a week off’ can be very damaging, especially when it becomes the norm. A gap year will allow you to escape this cycle and make your life much less mundane, and will allow you to take a break before jumping straight into another three years of intense education.
  • Could benefit your mental health. Following on from my last point, the routine of education can take a tole on your mental health, and theres also the frustration of being forced to learn about things you most likely aren’t that interested in, topped off with the pressure to memorise enough of it to receive a letter on a piece of paper at the end of it all. Even if you don’t suffer with a diagnosed mental health condition, taking a break from sitting behind a desk constantly can only have positive effects on your state of mind.
  • Gives you time and freedom to pursue something you’re passionate about. You could travel, start a new hobby you’ve never had time for before or explore the options in your chosen field of work. You’ll have a whole year to enrich your life in ways other than learning things from a textbook. Keep your eyes peeled for a whole post about ways to spend your gap year coming later in the series…
  • Could completely change the path of your life. A good example of this is the YouTuber Luke Birch who didn’t get into university but ended up interning at Twentieth Century Fox in Los Angeles, which he could afford because he worked throughout his gap year. He’s also been invited back to intern again next summer, which just shows you how much your life can change for the better even if it doesn’t go exactly according to plan.

It is also important to consider the other ways in which it will effect your life, especially if you’re a very career driven person…

Cons

  • Its another year further away from being in the job you want. If you have your heart set on a career and you want to get into your chosen industry as soon as possible, taking a gap year might actually set you back. It is, however, important to consider that most people don’t walk straight out of university into their dream job anyway, so theres no point rushing to be on the other side of a degree and £50K debt.
  • It can be daunting if you have no plans. As someone in this position right now, I know more than anyone how scary it is to have a whole year in front of you with no structure and no idea how you’re going to spend it. Whilst in the abyss of the unknown, I watched a very old Jacksgap video to try and remind myself why I chose to take a gap year in the first place. Jack talked about how he felt in limbo since he had no school, no plans and no job, which I completely related to, but also talked about how he could shave his head and move to a different country without it mattering to anyone which was empowering. Since being in his own abyss, Jack has travelled the world  doing something he’s truly passionate about. So yes, a year of no plans can be a big con, but it also gives you so much freedom and empowerment to take your life in whichever direction you choose.

I really hope this post helps you if you’re considering taking a gap year, be sure to stay tuned for the rest of my mini series on here and my YouTube channel if you want to see more gap year related posts! Megan x

 

Have any of you taken a gap year already? What are some other pros and cons you think people need to consider before taking one?

Lets have a chat Pinterest graphicThis post has no actual purpose and I have no idea where its going to go, but I feel like I need a catch up and a ramble so grab a cuppa and have a read…

I’ve not really been on my blogging/YouTube game over the last two weeks. I was stuck for ideas and motivation and ended up posting on both platforms sporadically which I hate doing. I’ve wrote so many posts that I can’t keep up with the ‘behind the scenes’ of them e.g. photography, promotion etc… so I feel like some of them are half done. It also doesn’t help that I’ve not been making the most out of my days. Staying in the house all day everyday since leaving college two months ago hasn’t done me any good; I’ve been sleeping in, feeling lethargic and not getting the things I set out to do done. Today I woke up at 8.30am sharp on a Monday morning and got to work writing this blog post at 9am sharp, so I suppose I’m making progress.

Recently, I’ve binged watched all of channel notes’ videos and they’ve really got me thinking about the quality of my blog and channel. Her whole aesthetic is so put together, her channels informative and has a strong niche and I’ve realised I’m missing all of those things from mine. I’m at a loss of how to find my individual style, particularly on YouTube, and have been thinking a lot about how to niche down. The problem was, a couple of weeks ago my whole life was uncertain because I had no idea whether I was going to go to university or not, so I couldn’t plan ahead what I was going to be posting about. Now I’ve decided I’m definitely going to be taking a gap year, I’ve decided to make it, and everything I do in it, my niche, starting with a gap year mini series for the next two weeks on both my blog and YouTube channel. I still don’t have any solid plans for my gap year, but I know that I’m going to be focusing on my blog and YouTube and booking some bucket lost trips so whatever happens it’ll be exciting. For now, I’m going to focus on my blog and channel branding and niching down to make the best posts I possibly can.

Another thing thats been throwing me off apart from lack of direction and motivation has been A level results. Last week was one big build up to Thursday, and after Thurdsday was over, I completely lost track of days. My results were pretty average and what I was expecting, I got a D in literature, a C in Language and a B in photography, so I’m not really disappointed in them. I think up until the results were in my hand there was a very real chance of me going to university this year instead of next, but now the build up and big day is over and I know my situation better, I can focus more on my blog and YouTube and actually get stuff done.

I hope this wasn’t too rambly or confusing, I just wanted to write a little update and tell you about whats coming in the future! Megan x

P.S are any of you taking a gap year? If so, what are you doing with it?

 

Farne Islands Pinterest Graphic.jpgOne of my three gap year goals is to visit more places in the UK and after watching ‘Mission Selfie’ a while ago, the Farne Islands became one of the photography spots I was most excited to visit. The seaside village is only a two hour drive from me, so my family and I decided to take a day trip there at the weekend. It was also a good opportunity for me to use my 70-200mm lens, which, if I’m honest, hasn’t had much use since I bought it in March. I’ve also been thinking about the direction I want to take my blog and YouTube in recently and have decided to switch up my aesthetic, niche and style of posts so my content is more travel and photography orientated, starting with this photo diary. You can expect a lot more of this type of post to come once I’ve worked my way around the rest of the UK!

So, onto the trip. I had high hopes of getting a national geographic style headshot of a puffin, only to find out I couldn’t actually get off the boat because of the rough seas, but the hour and a half round trip gave me a good opportunity to photograph the landscapes and enjoy some fresh air.

Farne Islands 1 (1 of 1)-2.jpgFarne Islands 1 (1 of 1)-3.jpg

I spent quite a while playing with the settings on my camera trying to get a motion shot of the waves and I think this photo hit the nail on the head. Its the shot I’m most proud of from the trip and proves to me how far I’ve come since my early days in photography.

Wave Shot Cropped (1 of 1).jpg

 

Farne Islands 1 (1 of 1)-5.jpgFarne Islands 1 (1 of 1)-6.jpg

Farne Islands 1 (1 of 1)-12.jpg

Farne Islands 1 (1 of 1)-14.jpg

Farne Islands 1 (1 of 1)-13.jpg

We were able to get quite close the seals that occupy some of the islands which made for a great photo opportunity since there were so many of them!

Farne Islands 1 (1 of 1)-7.jpg

I absolutely loved the Farne Islands; taking a day trip to somewhere new broke up my normal routine and, even though it was only a short drive away, it was really exciting being out in the fresh air with new things to photograph. You can watch my video on the day here if you want to see some more of the trip. I’ll definitely be doing more UK day trips soon, so if you have any recommendations feel free to leave them in the comments below! Megan x